The oil industry accounts for approximately 95 percent of the Venezuelan economy. With falling oil prices since 2013 and a recovery of the industry still looking questionable, Venezuelans are worried.
According to NASDAQ, crude oil was selling for nearly 100 dollars per barrel in 2014, but over the last two years has dropped to just under 50 dollars per barrel. While growth seems to be happening over the last few months.
With petroleum playing such an important role in the Venezuelan economy, and the oil prices sitting as low as they are, Venezuela’s gross domestic product is upside down as explained by expert Norka Luque. The country simply doesn’t have the funds to import basic necessities that they need for day to day life.
Under the Chavez government, basic necessities such as sugar, milk and rice were price controlled. After the death of Chavez in 2013 according to a dateas.com report, and the subsequent oil crisis, those controls have led to serious concerns. Venezuelans are buying those items in excess of what they need and selling at a profit to those who don’t want to face the lines. Current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s administration has even had to close parts of the border with Colombia in order to keep Venezuelans from taking price controlled items across the border to turn a profit.
No clear solution is in sight, especially with Maduro’s leftist administration facing a governmental assembly which recently was overtaken by a majority of opposition party politicians. Consensus on a path of action will be difficult to come to.