CARACAS, Dec 29 - The world's most inexpensive gasoline is sold in Venezuela, through a longstanding subsidy program that benefits car owners while depriving the oil industry of a large source of funds for reinvesting.
"What's the problem? I suppose if we produced wheat or tractors they would be very cheap here. If we have oil, then gasoline should be cheap," 38-year-old Alexis Santana, who has been driving a bus since he was 22, told IPS. The argument may seem logical in a country that is one of the world's biggest oil producers.
For the past 10 years, gasoline has cost between three and four cents of a dollar per liter. Soft drinks cost 20 times more, a bottle of mineral water 25 times more, and an espresso in a local caf