Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced an increase in the price of gasoline in the country and the devaluation of the national currency.
The price of gasoline will go up from $0.01 per liter to $0.95 per liter starting from February 19. The Venezuelan bolivar will weaken from 6.3 to 10 bolivars per dollar, according to Maduro.
“This new system will have to ensure two things: the payment of what is invested in the production of hydrocarbon in addition to the healthy functioning of PDVSA [state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela oil and gas company],” Maduro said as quoted by NTN24 on Wednesday.
In January, Maduro declared an economic emergency in Venezuela. The announcement
came two days after Venezuela’s oil price dropped to $24 a barrel, the lowest mark in 12 years. Up to 96 percent of Venezuela’s budget depends on oil revenues.
Maduro accepted partial blame for the economic situation in the country in an address to the National Economic Council, stressing that Venezuela needs to replace all sources of income from oil with other sources.
Public discontent with Maduro’s government has been growing in Venezuela amid grave economic problems, largely contributing to the victory of the opposition MUD (Democratic Unity Roundtable) group in the December 2015 parliamentary elections.