For Saudi Arabia, its decision last week not to cut oil production seems to have been an attempt to protect market share. But for Venezuela, that decision may mean “game over” for the economy.
Oil accounts for 95 percent of Venezuela’s export earnings,and combined with gas, it’s 25 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. As the price of oil hits a four-year low at $70 per barrel, the OPEC nation’s oil-dependent economy is set to implode, experts say, bringing deeper political instability and chaos to the world’s 10th-largest oil exporter.
Anti-government protests flared earlier this year as Venezuelans started to feel the effects of the economy’s staggering 60 percent inflation and currency controls that have generated scarcity of basic needs such as toilet paper and toothpaste.