This Country Is So Badly Hit By Oil Prices That Having Sex Is Impossible

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Feb 06 2015
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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when Venezuela is mentioned? Well, Miss Universe, of course. Pageants are such a serious business that it’s part of Venezuelan lives. But there’s something much bigger and serious than beautiful women in Venezuela – OIL. For the past many months, people have been talking about how low oil prices affect Russian economy.

Venezuela - Miss Universe Pageants

Understandable, Russia is one of the world’s largest oil producers, with oil and gas accounting for 70% of export incomes. Kremlin needs global oil price to be at least US$105 a barrel to balance its budgets. Guess what, Venezuela, a South American country that nobody really cares during the present oil crisis actually suffers more than the Russia. Venezuela relies on crude-oil exports for 95% of its foreign-currency earnings.


Venezuela also needs a higher oil price (than Russia) to balance its budget, a whopping US$118 a barrel. Although the country has one of the cheapest petrol prices in the world, its economy mismanagement is causing mass anti-government protests, and it’s getting worse. Thanks to 60% fall in income from oil exports, inflation skyrockets to 60%, and there’s a 75% the country would default its debt in the next 12-months, if oil prices don’t recover.

Venezuelans Queuing For Consumer Goods

Venezuelans already have to line up to buy sugar, chicken, medicines and other consumer products. The country is unique in a way that it imports most of its consumer goods, paying with its black gold, a classic example of putting all eggs in a basket. Instead of cutting social spending, President Nicolas Maduro has responded to lower revenue by slashing imports. As a result, Venezuela will import 42% less than in 2012.


Needless to say, consumer goods have become scarce and expensive, pushing inflation to insane level. The country is so messed up that people have to wait in line even to have sex. Reason – condoms are not only hard to find, but almost impossible to afford (*tongue-in-cheek*). A 36-pack of Trojan condoms now costs a mind-boggling US$755 (£492; RM2,677) on the MercadoLibre website, where Venezuelans go to buy goods in short supply.

Venezuela Inflation - Condoms US$755 for 36-Pack

For those who couldn’t afford the value pack, a smaller pack of only three condoms costs around US$62 (£40; RM220). Let’s hope they don’t recycle them. Without condoms, Venezuelans can’t do anything because the country is South America’s third highest rates of HIV infection (after Paraguay and Brazil) and teenage pregnancy, not to mention that abortion is illegal.


To give you an idea of how expensive condoms are in Venezuela, the cost of 4,760 Bolivars (US$755) for the 36-pack of Trojan condoms is not very far from the country’s minimum monthly wage of 5,600 Bolivars (US$882). Even if you can afford them, most pharmacies have ran out of stocks since January. Supplies of birth control and emergency contraceptive pills as well as anti-retroviral drugs for HIV patients are also at critically low levels.

Venezuela - Teenage Girls

Now that you know Venezuela needs condoms desperately, remember to bring couple of dozens if you already have plan to visit the country. Perhaps you can earn a couple thousands of bucks in pocket money, while enjoying your holiday there (*grin*). But they’re particularly sensitive about the brands. Beside Trojan, Venezuelans trust Durex too.


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