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“Oil prices have gone up, and an additional 8-10 billion US dollars will come in, thanks to President Maduro’s oil policies,” Faria said, alluding to Venezuela’s push in the past 18 months to convince OPEC and non-OPEC members to curb production output.
International benchmark Brent Crude hit $57 a barrel in early March on the heels of sustained production cuts by OPEC giant Saudi Arabia as well as non-OPEC member Russia. The two countries are the biggest oil exporters in the world.
Oil prices, however, have fallen to just above $51 a barrel.
Venezuela has been unable to sufficiently import its most basic needs as the drastic drop in oil prices since 2014 has created an enormous financial shortfall. Oil revenues have fallen from nearly $90 billion to about $20 billion as foreign debt has mushroomed to around $140 billion.
Venezuela, like some emerging economies, has based nearly its entire GDP growth on oil exports. With an oil glut now entering its third year, the International Monetary Fund forecasts that inflation in 2016 will hit more than 720 per cent and that the economy will contract by 8 per cent.
Some analysts say the inflation rate could hit as high as 1,700 per cent in 2017.
The crisis has led the government to opening the border crossings with neighboring countries such as Colombia, to allow desperate Venezuelans to cross over and purchase their dietary and medicinal needs that have gone absent from the shelves back home.
most Venezuelans who have struggled for the past year as low global oil prices saw the country’s fortunes dwindle.
In just the past year, food protests have increased exponentially as prices skyrocketed.
The crime rate has soared with violent robberies taking place including hundreds of looting incidents.
Venezuelans now face multiple daily power outages while businesses shut down and factory output drops significantly.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies