It doesn’t matter if you live in Brazil, other parts of Latin America, the U.S., or Europe, fuel prices have skyrocketed across the world.
Western sanctions on Russian oil following its invasion of Ukraine in February have led to lower crude production and refinery output and have severely disrupted oil flows around the world, pushing prices up. Inflation has become a hot-button issue everywhere, from France, to the U.S., to Brazil.
In Brazil, a standard tank of gasoline now costs around one-third of the minimum wage.
President Jair Bolsonaro is up for re-election this year and is trailing in the polls. Trying to convince the public to give him a second term, he’s found himself a scapegoat for the fuel price crisis: Petrobras, the oil and gas company controlled by his own government.
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- Cedê Silva is a contributor in Brasília for The Brazilian Report. He has worked for O Antagonista, O Estado de S.Paulo, Veja BH, and YouTube channel MyNews.
Background reading on Petrobras:
- The Jair Bolsonaro administration is all talk and no action when it comes to addressing the problems posed by surging fuel prices. In the latest push to scapegoat Petrobras for the fuel crisis — without actually interfering in its pricing policy — pro-Bolsonaro lawmakers filed a request to open a congressional inquiry into the company.
- The Bolsonaro administration searched for ways to speed up the nomination of a new Petrobras CEO to increase its influence over the company and keep up the pressure to contain fuel price hikes.
- Pressure forced José Mauro Coelho to resign from his position on Monday. The disclosure of this material fact is under investigation by the Brazilian securities watchdog.
- Listen to episode #189: Gas prices put Bolsonaro in a bind. We explain that the ghost of inflation continues to haunt President Jair Bolsonaro, who is running out of ways to hold prices down.
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