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Venezuela has restarted gasoline production at two refineries, President Nicolas Maduro said in a tweet, adding that he had approved a gasoline supply regularization plan to run between October 5 and November 5.
“Venezuelan people! Despite the external attacks, we began to produce the gasoline that the country needs with the construction of two refineries. For this reason, I approved the Gasoline Supply Regularization Plan from #5Oct and until #5Nov . Advance and Win!” Maduro said in the tweet.
For months Venezuela has been fighting a major gasoline shortage as refineries are unable to operate at run rates higher than 10 percent because of a shortage of diluents necessary for the production of fuels as well as an urgent need for repairs. The diluent shortage followed the imposition of U.S. sanctions ion the government in Caracas.
Iran, also a target of U.S. sanctions, lent Venezuela a hand sending people to help repair the ailing refineries and several tankers with fuel. The U.S. managed to seize four of these, but earlier cargos made it to Venezuela. Caracas is reportedly paying for the deliveries in gold.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Maduro has called on the UN to protest U.S. sanctions. All “countries that defend peace,” he said, should rally against the sanctions imposed on Venezuela, as well as those that the United States. has imposed on Cuba, Nicaragua, and Syria.
“We must demand the cessation of all unilateral coercive measures, of all the alleged sanctions, and that they allow our people to exercise their own rights,” Maduro told the UN General Assembly.
The once prosperous OPEC member has seen its foreign exchange revenues, most of which come from oil, plunge by as much as 99 percent since 2014 under the triple blow of an oil price collapse, the consequences of years of equipment neglect and mismanagement, and the U.S. sanctions that targeted specifically this stream of government revenues.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com