A US clampdown on swap deals has severely affected diesel supplies
The Nicolás Maduro government has been forced to introduce rationing plans for heavy load trucks, with long queues forming outside service stations. Last Friday, truck drivers occupied one of the country’s key highways to protest against the restrictions and the illegal sale of fuel at exorbitant prices.
Jonathan Durvelle, president of the truck driver Regional Freight Chamber, told Reuters that service stations were only supplying 100-200 liters of diesel per truck, while most tanks can hold at least 1,200 liters. For its part, the Central Transportation Chamber tweeted that 90 percent of its cargo trucks are currently paralyzed.
While public transportation and electricity generation have been affected, the main concern surrounds food production and distribution, with diesel fuel required to power tractors as well as transport crops. Small producers and big agribusinesses alike have urged the government to prioritize agriculture.
Fuel shortages have significantly worsened in recent months after the US Treasury Department clamped down on swap agreements which saw state oil company PDVSA exchange crude for diesel, gasoline or diluents needed for refining.
Source: Daily News LK (SriLanka)