Outside a service station in eastern Caracas, the queue for fuel stretches for blocks. Drivers know that the US has leveled sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company – and they worry that the pumps will soon run dry.
“Everything is going to get worse,” said Tomás Pacheco, who was waiting to fill his car. “And these long lines are the new normal for us.”
The sanctions, which came in on Monday, ban US companies from exporting goods or services to Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA), as part of a campaign to force Maduro to step aside and cede power to Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader. US refineries are also banned from buying crude from PDVSA unless the money is paid into accounts not tied to Maduro.