OUtside service station in eastern Caracas, the queue for fuel extends for blocks. Drivers know that the United States has punished penalties on a Venezuelan state-owned oil company – and they are worried that the pumps will run dry.
"Everything is going to get worse," said Tom Pacheco, who was waiting to fill the car. "And these long lines are normal for us."
The sanctions, which were received on Monday, prohibit US companies from exporting goods or services to PDVSA, as part of a campaign to force Maduro to end and raise power to Juan Guaidó, leader the opposition. US refineries are also banned from buying raw from PDVSA unless the money is paid to accounts that are not related to Maduro.
However, the concern in Venezuela is that the measures will lead to more suffering only in a country that has been refined in hyperinflation and chronic shortage of food staples and medicine.
"In all years, I have never seen something so intense," said Carlos Fuentes, a engineer stays in line with fuel. "If the gasoline disappears, there will be only another problem in this chaos."
Analysts say that the aim of the sanctions is to increase the suffering of the people and to drive even more protests against Venezuelan shells over the last couple of weeks.
"The USA hopes that the money bullet will be a big impression that ultimately kills Maduro's regime," said Geoff Ramsey, assistant director for Venezuela at the Washington Office on Latin America. "But as we learn from Cuba, authoritative organizations can be very resilient."
Opposition protests have been more than those in favor of government, but Maduro has held vital military support by offering senior members of government and PDVSA positions. The sanctions also aim to hit those who make these men in their wallets, although the huge illegal economies they run will not run – from drug trafficking to illegal mining and disturbance – are affected.
"So much money comes out of the ground in Venezuela that finds pockets and the system, it is hard to see these sanctions do much other than increasing the suffering of people usual, "Ramsey went on to say.
PDVSA, as far as Venezuela's economic inflation, is unlikely to be able to current weather conditions: although the country has the most proven reserves in the world, fuel shortages have increasingly increased due to the collapse of infrastructures.
The emerging substance of the ground is high in sulfur, which can only be processed in gasoline in certain refineries. With Venezuela's remedies recovering, oil is transported to the US and refined there, before it is sold back to the troubled nation to meet the demand in the pumps . In the first eight months of 2018, imports from the US rose 76% to 125,000 barrels a day, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
"This is a company that has been abused completely since Chávez was beaten with lovers," said Gilberto Morillo, an advisor who served as PDVSA's chief financial officer until 2003, when Hugo Chávez, a recent precursor Maduro, a staffing exercise & # 39; r company with political appointments.
Morillo added that Maduro will try to vegetate other raw buyers in an attempt to mitigate the upcoming crisis, but it's likely that those calls will be overlooked. "Countries with the right refineries, such as India, or African countries, are on the other side of the world … shipping costs would be huge for them."
PDVSA's woes could also insulate Maduro from its main sponsor, Russia, who invests up to $ 20bn in Venezuela, experts say that a significant proportion goes to PDVSA.
The Russian energy boom, Rosneft, has lent more than $ 6 billion to PDVSA. That loan is reimbursed by the supply of crude oil to Rosneft by 2019, and depends on the ability of PDVSA to pump oil.
Following a decline in Venezuela last year, he said Igor Sechin, influential emission from Vladimir Putin, was personally to fly to Caracas in November to complain to Maduro and identify the growing disadvantage in the Kremlin.
The collateral for part of that loan is a 49.9% share of PDVSA in Citgo, and the new US penalties against PDVSA can make it difficult for Russia to take ownership in the event of failure. Rosneft also hosts a joint competition with PDVSA in a number of oil areas in Venezuela.
China, another vital emission to Maduro, also shows a strange, with PetroChina intending to correct a $ 10 billion oil refinery in south & superpower Asia, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Meanwhile as the fuel queues dragged forward in Caracas, the sanctions were welcomed by some drivers, even as they prepared for difficult times. "Are we going to suffer? Certainly, but they're really bad," said María Alexandra Villasuso, a video producer as she fills her car. "The government is already drowning, and if the ship sink, so do it. At some point we'll float again."