Gasoline shortages return to Venezuela

Updated: 10 September, 2020 11:36 IST | Agencies | Caracas

Three Iranian tankers that delivered gasoline to Venezuela earlier this year have turned off their location tracking devices for up to three weeks

Bikers wait their turn to fill up at a gas station in Caracas, amid gasoline shortages in Venezuela. Pics/AP/AFP
Bikers wait their turn to fill up at a gas station in Caracas, amid gasoline shortages in Venezuela. Pics/AP/AFP

Gasoline shortages have returned to Venezuela, sparking mile-long lines in the capital as international concerns mounted that Iran yet again may be trying to come to the nation's rescue.

Three Iranian tankers that delivered gasoline to Venezuela earlier this year have turned off their location tracking devices for up to three weeks, raising suspicions among global ship trackers that the tankers are again headed to Iran's ally.

Iran uses cloaking to evade detection by the US, which seeks to block shipments to Venezuela in a campaign aimed at forcing socialist President Nicolás Maduro from power.

Bikers wait their turn to fill up at a gas station in Caracas, amid gasoline shortages in Venezuela. Pics/AP/AFP

Samir Madani, a co-founder of the independent oil tracking firm TankerTrackers.com, said it is possible the three ships could make the entire journey to Venezuela with their transponders off. "Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me now at this point, given that the Iranians experiment on a weekly basis with new evasive tactics," said Madani.

Venezuela holds the world's largest oil reserves, yet it is unable to refine enough crude to meet its domestic needs. Maduro's government blames crippling US sanctions, while critics say two decades of corruption and mismanagement under socialist rule have left the nation once-thriving oil industry in ruins.

May
Month in 2020 Iran had sent five tankers to Venezuela

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First Published: 10 September, 2020 07:34 IST

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