Chavismo on wheels


Brother, Can You Spare a Tire?

In early April, a close relative of mine was looking everywhere for new tires. He hasn’t found anything yet.

At least he isn’t the only one caught in this pickle. Car tires are part of the long, long list of stuff that is currently lacking in this country.

People are doing the impossible to find them. Some are even willing to wait hours and hours in a line just to buy a single tire. And if that doesn’t prove how desperate things are, there’s what happened earlier this month in San Felix (Bolivar State) when a mob took on a tire truck like piranhas to a rack of lamb.

The root of the problem is (as expected) the fall in domestic production and the lack of currency to either reactivate local factories or bring enough imports to satisfy demand. Representatives of three major tire brands have met with government representatives, but they didn’t get any specifics about when they will get the resources to keep working.

But another factor is affecting the vehicle tire market: Proveeduria (Procurement)

What’s that?

It’s a state-led initiative thought up the central government back in 2013 to directly provide spare parts and tires to public and cargo transportation drivers, under the control of the Transportation Ministry. At the beginning, those State procurement stores got their tires from illegal units that were seized by the authorities.

But in March of this year, Land Transportation Minister Haiman El Troudi published an administrative order in which tiremakers are forced to sell 20% of production to proveedurias in order to keep public transportation up and running.

In recent weeks, some public transport drivers have complained that they face lots and lots of time waiting in the proveedurias for tires and spare parts, and that supply isn’t enough. Others hinted at how the bachaqueros are benefiting from this, as they protest both the limits on what they can buy and the prices they are forced to pay up.

But tires are not the only concern for drivers nationwide: spare parts in general are scarce, and the autoparts sector says that they can’t solve the problem without a huge price increase. Repair shops are facing shutdown, some have closed shop already.

22 thoughts on “Chavismo on wheels

  1. “But another factor is affecting the vehicle tire market: Proveeduria de Andorra”.

    El unico caucho que se consigue es la corchoneta cervesera esa de mi mario, nojoda.. por eso vamo a malchal a pie ejte sabado


  2. We have an insane problem in our family with a needed car battery. The car owner is now obliged to involve multiple families in transportation and child care arrangements as a result, not to mention much more added time and risk to all involved. There are no car batteries for sale in Barinas. Period.


  3. My brother spent almost four weeks chasing a battery for his car. When he was about to get one, the paralelo went up and the seller decided not to sell. Then, my hermanito had to settle for another battery at Bs. 13,500, almost two monthly minimum salaries.


  4. Had me a good car
    Made it run
    Once was an auto parts buyer
    Had me a good car
    Now it sits in the sun
    Brother, can you spare a tire?


  5. Lucky you don’t have to change to winter tyres on the 1st of November . I pay the equivalent of 30,000 bs. ( €1 =bsf 400) for a tank of fuel in Ireland.
    Then again minimum wage is €8.65 (bsf.3,460) per hour.
    And the police don’t carry guns.
    You receive €175 a week if your unemployed and education and healthcare is free
    This is about as socialist as it gets
    We have very little natural resources but plenty of tyres .
    After 1844 when Goodyear / Hancock patented vulcanization .Rubber became very valuable with the beginning of the industrial revolution .In 1876 John wickham smuggled the rubber seeds from its native amazon , to Kew gardens in London . From those stolen seeds the British were able to start the rubber plantations in theMalay peninnsula and Ceylon. Thus Ending the brazilian monopoly. In the 1890’s king Leopolds Congo free state was not yet Belgian Congo only his personal enterprise to extract and sell rubber .while slaughtering tens of thousands of Africans who he had enslaved to tap rubber , and removing ears as souvenirs . The enslavement and abuse of the People in the Amazon was even worse in the Putamayo the indians were forced to harvest the wild rubber Iquitos and Manaus became the richest cities in south america . The human rights abuses investigated by Roger Casement in both the congo and Putamayo were horrendous . In 1889 John Dunlop invented the pneumatic tyre.
    The demand for rubber escalated as first the mass production of the bicycle ,and then the First World War required huge quantities of rubber for tyres , boots and waterproof gear ( Burberry and Mackintosh ) And a million other uses from condoms to rubber bullets were being put to use . . And then the motorcar became mass produced. .In 1928 Henry Ford built a city in the amazon, to harvest rubber , called Fordlandia ..with churches schools and thousands of American style houses in neat rows with picket fences. Fordlandia still exists but never produced any rubber as nature would not assist .The rubber tree in the amazon could only grow as nature intended spread out and surrounded by other plants , when planted in rows in would be consumed by pest and disease .
    The demand for the South American rubber deminished as the plantations in the British colonies produced much cheaper easily harvested rubber which was subsequently made uneconomical by synthetic rubber made from crude oil……


    • That’s right. Because, according to many here, joining a peaceful protest March by the thousands on Saturday is “too dangerous” or “pointless”.

      They prefer to stay home, do their lines for harina pan, and dream about “fair elections” one day, in Cubazuela.


    • For all intents and purposes, coins are no longer in circulation… The largest denomination of coin is the 1Bs. coin. At the black market rate of exchange, it is work one quarter of one cent of one dollar. People stopped carrying them several months ago. Likewise, the two Bolivar note is becoming scarce, as people tend to round up or down to the nearest five Bs. to make change.


      • I have a grand collection of coins and banknotes, including a few silver 5B coins from the 1800’s,
        also have a few of those emergency small notes that were printed.
        Whenever I left Venezuela, I would have leftover currency that would be useless on my next visit so those were added to my collection.
        Maybe this government is doing a favour to the numismatic and philatelic world.


  6. Don’t people have to wait in line with their cars to get batteries to prove that they have a car? So people have to stay with their car and push it in line?

    Thought I saw that


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