(AmericanProsperity.com) – Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Colombia’s main cities on August 28, to protest against the hikes in gasoline prices in the South American nation. Protesters used their cars and motorcycles to block some of the main roads and express their disagreement with the measure imposed by the socialist government of President Gustavo Petro.
The Colombian demonstrators claimed that the monthly price hikes will make it harder for small businesses to survive, in a country that has been experiencing an economic crisis over the last few months. They also claim this affects the poorest populations of the South American nation as this will inevitably push up the price of foods and many common goods.
Despite this situation, the Colombian government justified its stance, as it pointed out that gasoline subsidies in this country cost $11 billion per year. It also noted that eliminating these subsidies is necessary to pay debts to Ecopetrol, which is the main oil company in Colombia and produces most of the country’s fuel. Moreover, the government said it’s necessary to cut these subsidies to have more money to finance social justice programs.
The protests took place in Colombia’s main cities, including Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Barranquilla. This situation takes place at a moment when Petro’s popularity is getting lower every month, following an economic crisis caused by many of his policies and different scandals regarding alleged drug money in his presidential campaign.
So far, gasoline prices in Colombia have increased from 8,999 Colombian pesos ($2.50) a gallon in August 2022 to over 13,500 pesos ($3.40) right now. On this issue, one of Colombia’s main opposition leaders named Maria Fernanda Cabal said that the government is taking antibusiness measures that will severely harm the Colombian economy. Finally, she said that, under the Petro administration, Colombia is at serious risk of becoming “another case like Venezuela.” She explained that former guerrilla member is taking the same policies that former Venezuelan socialist dictator Hugo Chavez implemented in the early 2000s.
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