In Venezuela Maduro announces plan to scrap fuel subsidies

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Al Jazeera reports that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced a controversial plan to scrap fuel subsidies in a bid to combat what he calls rampant smuggling.

The government of the economically-ravaged country has for many years heavily subsidised petrol. Prices, where a tank can be filled for as little as $0.01, are among the world’s cheapest.

But under the new plan, only those with a government-provided card will have access to the subsidised fuel. Venezuelans must register their vehicles by Friday using the “carnet de la patria” or fatherland card, which provides access to various forms of government assistance.

Opposition groups have criticised the cards as a means of social and political control. Many who don’t support Maduro have refused to use them.

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