Julio Martin Herrera Velutini has held numerous positions in international banking, including some in his native Venezuela. Julio M. Herrera Velutini is a member of the family credited with founding the country’s banking system.
Home to the largest estimated oil reserves in the world; Venezuela is also home to the cheapest gasoline. A recent story in the New York Times points out that it is priced at about 6 cents per gallon, and drivers are accustomed to filling their tanks for under a dollar. For many Venezuelan citizens, cheap gas is a staple of life and the country’s economic system. In light of recent turmoil in Venezuela’s economy, however, current president Nicolas Maduro called for a rise in gas prices.
Having struggled to gain acceptance in his first year of leadership after the country’s former leader, Hugo Chavez, Maduro is risking what some would consider breaking an economic taboo in Venezuela. Many Venezuelans feel that they are entitled to free or cheap gasoline, but some observers say the proposed change may begin to illuminate the severity of the country’s economic crisis.