Venezuela - How authoritarian? Gasoline subsidies?

lee h oswald

Gas is cheap in Venezuela because it comes from a government owned company. They sell it for less than it costs to make. Many authoritarian governments do that. It is the modern form of 'bread and circuses'.

That does mean they skimp on a lot of things. I think that every governement owned oil company, except, I think Norway, are seeing reduced production. It is hated 'big oil' that spends money on developing ways of increasing oil and gas production.


That is the trade off for cheap gasoline.


So the govt in Venezuela is selling gas for less than it costs to produce across the board, is it? Not to mention 'authoritarian'. I think you might look a little closer to home for that realisation.

Here's what Jimmy Carter has to say about Venezuelan electoral practice:

So when you said 'authoritarian', you meant 'committed to democratic principles', yes?

If you prefer a more 'conservative' view [...], then how about this:

Chavez was re-elected three times; survived a CIA backed coup attempt in 2002 because the people came out on the streets and said they weren't having it. Imagine? And that's all you can do in the US....The Chavez govt nationalised the oil industry, rightly, and the owners were paid market price. The dividends from oil were used to improve the lot of the poorest, to begin. I'm not going to give you the lesson you need on all this, though. What you might do, until you learn up a bit, is desist from presenting fiction as fact and learn about what you're saying before you say it.

Venezuela, like everywhere else caught in the shitstorm caused by criminal bankers and profiteers in 2008, has had its economic problems - but unlike the crippled US 'economy', the Chavista govt spent its way out of trouble and in the last twelve months the economy has grown by 4.2 percent.

[..] more here, [...] from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC:

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Mick West

Staff member
Fair elections does not equal non-authoritarian.
Venezuela does subsidize the cost of gasoline.,


Senior Member.
So when you said 'authoritarian', you meant 'committed to democratic principles', yes?


I think Chavez's commitment to "democratic principles" was was somewhat suspect- as the Human Rights Watch put it:

Learn more here, from [...] the Human Rights Watch:

lee h oswald

Fair elections does not equal non-authoritarian. [/ex] Venezuela does subsidize the cost of gasoline.
[..]. Your sources are seriously biased. I never said they didn't subsidize gas for the poor ('across the board', remember?) who need it! Remember? [...]


Senior Member.
I think you just made my point for me. Chavez got reelected because of the all the free and cheap stuff he provided to poor folks.

The problem is, is that the COUNTRY will be paying the price for that for a long time.


lee h oswald


The problem is that the country will be paying the price for that....

you say? But what about the 4.2 percent growth of the economy? What about the relatively very low debt? What about the increasing GDP?



Senior Member.
lee your comments were removed because you violated the politeness code.

You did NOT correct anything. YOU MADE the point of WHY they subsidize the gasoline price.


Senior Member.
Instead of using the oil wealth to build a foundation for prosperity for his people, Chavez 'bought' them off.

Only time will tell if any of the 'advances' that happened during his time in office will continue. I expect it will really depend on what those that fled him are willing to do.

Let's look at oil production

year production change
1980 2,168.00 NA
1981 2,102.00 -3.04 %
1982 1,895.00 -9.85 %
1983 1,801.00 -4.96 %
1984 1,798.00 -0.17 %
1985 1,677.00 -6.73 %
1986 1,787.00 6.56 %
1987 1,752.00 -1.96 %
1988 1,903.00 8.62 %
1989 1,907.00 0.21 %
1990 2,137.00 12.06 %
1991 2,375.00 11.14 %
1992 2,371.00 -0.17 %
1993 2,450.00 3.33 %
1994 2,588.00 5.63 %
1995 2,750.14 6.26 %
1996 2,938.00 6.83 %
1997 3,280.00 11.64 %
1998 3,167.01 -3.44 %
1999 2,825.80 -10.77 %
2000 3,155.00 11.65 %
2001 3,010.00 -4.60 %
2002 2,603.95 -13.49 %
2003 2,335.19 -10.32 %
2004 2,556.94 9.50 %
2005 2,564.66 0.30 %
2006 2,510.55 -2.11 %
2007 2,432.64 -3.10 %
2008 2,394.02 -1.59 %
2009 2,239.45 -6.46 %
2010 2,145.75 -4.18 %
2011 2,240.00 4.39 %

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
Venezuela. World's largest oil reserves. Yes, they sell gasoline cheap. Five gallons/day limit. Not a single refinery built since Chavez came to power. The main refinery they had became so deteriorated it blew up last year and killed several dozen people. Now Venezuela imports gasoline from US.

A real paradise. Don't ask about the murder rate.
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