The shortage of diesel fuel in our country is caused by the destruction of PDVSA by the regime and not by the international sanctions applied by democratic countries interested in restoring the rule of law in our country. Our economy has been in progressive recession for seven striaght years and the application of the first financial sanctions began in August 2017 and the economic and oil sanctions in November 2018.
It is important to note that there are around forty countries sanctioned by the United States and none of them are in a critical situation like ours. The forty countries sanctioned had a fall in their GDP between 2013 and 2019 from 7% to 14% and Venezuela had a GDP contraction of 81.2%. Inflation in our country is a thousand times higher than that of Cuba, which was 5%. Iran maintains active its 153 oil drilling rigs and all its refineries in operation. PDVSA’s drills are all inactive and its refineries in a very low operating performance.
Between 2013 and 2020 the minimum wage in Cuba increased 110% and here in our country it decreased 94%.
The oil sanctions were structured in the first quarter of 2019, but PDVSA’s deterioration had already started since 2008. Between that year and 2019, the drop in production was 70%. The refineries cannot escape this deterioration: PDVSA’s management did not foresee the funds for their conservation, they did not carry out or comply with the maintenance protocols because they diverted those resources to other activities not related to the oil business. These resources (funds) through mismanagement and corruption were wasted.
That is why we affirm that the fuel supply crisis is not due to international sanctions. The regime attributes to international sanctions all the problems we are suffering, including the fuel crisis, and says it would be able to solve them when these are eliminated. The reality is that the socioeconomic crisis that we are suffering began long before the sanctions and it was inevitable that this would occur with or without sanctions.
The truth is that the shortage of diesel in our country is wreaking havoc on the economy and on the quality of life of our population. The cargo transport fleet is 80% paralyzed. This has caused a decrease in food cargo of 58% in the month of March.
For the agribusiness, these diesel reserves have their days numbered. In this sector, fuel is essential for: the operation during emergencies of electric generators, the distribution of manufactured products, and to light furnaces and boilers. Another sector in crisis is that of food distribution, which has 80% of its units paralyzed which has prevented, for example, the mobilization in March of 25% of the beef, 20% of chicken, 35% of cheese and 30% eggs.
Due to this situation, it is estimated that the food deficit last month was 200 thousand tons.