Venezuela: Land of 12-Cent Gas

By subsidizing gasoline, Chávez spreads the oil wealth. But the cost of those cheap fill-ups is becoming hard to ignore
A line of cars waits to cross the Venezuelan-Colombian border post in the Venezuelan state of Maracaibo, on Mar. 6, 2008. Pedro Rey/AFP/Getty Images

Global oil prices zoomed up to $135 a barrel this past week. But that doesn't worry Roberto Morales, a 33-year-old Venezuelan businessman. Morales, who drives a compact Volkswagen Gol, still pays only $1.32 to fill up his car with 11 gallons of high-octane gasoline, thanks to Venezuela's subsidized fuel price.

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