Gasoline scarcity follows the disastrous state of refineries and imperialist sanctions

By Oswaldo Pacheco

Barcelona, Anzoátegui, May 22nd of 2019.

For José Bodas, general secretary of the Unitary Federation of Oil Workers (FUTPV), the scarcity of gasoline is a consequence of the state of disaster of our refineries.

“We have said in many occasions that PDVSA is falling apart, out of a drought of investment, for lack of maintenance, because of the corruption that the enterprise has suffered. All the operational areas of our main industry are in their lowest point”, affirmed the union leader.
In that sense, he detailed the situation of two of the most important refineries in the country, claiming that “the refinery of Puerto La Cruz, with a capacity to refine 190 thousand barrels of oil a day, today is barely refining 30 thousand barrels. Or in the case of the Refining Complex of Paraguaná in Falcón, which is nowadays only working at 20 or 30% of capacity. This is the situation of all refineries in the country.”

The figure of the FUPTV added that this whole situation is what explains the grave crisis in the supply of gasoline.

“To the lack of maintenance and investment, we need to add the migration of human resources,
hundreds of workers that have left the industry, out of the hunger wages offered. Barely $12 a month. To this, we must add the criminalization of protests, the liquidation of trade union autonomy, the lack of safety equipment. But we must also say that to this situation of disaster in PDVSA, pre-existent, we have to add the economic sanctions applied by imperialism since the month of January, which have intensified since April 28; for example, the additives to produce gasoline can no longer be purchased,” he mentioned.

“We are categorical in saying that we reject and condemn these imperialist sanctions, that only bring further calamities to the Venezuelan people. And we do this without giving any kind of support to the Maduro Government,” he ratified.

As we know, people are making great sacrifices. We have information of people in Zulia, Mérida, Táchira, the center of the country, and even in Caracas, who are spending two and
three days in line to be able to fill their vehicles’ oil tanks. This situation adds itself to the scarcity of food, medicines, water, electricity and other services plaguing the Venezuelan people.

Bodas added that “in C-CURA we are mounting battle for the recovery of our industry, but we must be aware that this will only be possible with a workers’ government, at the service of the entire people, pushing a Workers’ and Popular Economic Plan, that has the rescue of PDVSA at its center, for it to be 100% state-owned, without mixed or transnational corporations, directed and managed by its workers, professionals and technicians.”

He concluded that “we are for change in this country, but we believe that this change will not come out of imperialist interference, nor with Guaidó and the bosses’ Opposition, that has only taken care of paying PDVSA debt bonds, illegitimately issued by the Maduro Government. This change must come as the product of the independent mobilization of the working people.”

C-CURA* is the Classist, Unitary, Revolutionary and Autonomous Current, a leftist opposition union workers’ current leaded by José Bodas and Orlando Chirino.

Photo: Protest of oil workers in Caracas in 2011. The banner denounces the disaster of the infrastructure, salaries and union autonomy in the oil industry.

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