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Venezuela sets caps on gasoline purchases

Venezuela on Tuesday set limits on gasoline sales in the country’s west to undercut smuggling that it blames for short supplies in recent days.

Passenger cars were limited to a maximum of 30 liters and trucks to 35, said a statement from the oil ministry, without specifying a time period for the limit.

Venezuela, which has the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves, heavily subsidizes its gasoline prices, making smuggling to neighboring Colombia a big business.

The move was aimed at stopping people from the states of Barinas, Portuguesa, Apure, Lara and Cojedes, from filling up repeatedly to sell the fuel in Colombia, the statement said.

Venezuela’s government-led economy is in crisis and supplies of food and medicine have become alarmingly scarce.

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