Sliding oil prices are deepening the budget crisis facing the Venezuelan government, which is already struggling to fund its lavish subsidies and rigid exchange-rate controls, analysts say.
Venezuela, which sits atop the world’s largest proven crude reserves, relies on oil sales for 96 percent of its budget.
The recent plunge in prices, which have hit a four-year low, is bad news for a government already running a deficit of 15 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
That may force leftist President Nicolas Maduro to rethink cut-rate oil sales to the nations of Petrocaribe, the club of 18 Latin American and Caribbean allies that pay about half-price for Venezuelan oil.
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