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Latin American power play

Politics again dragged down Venezuela's oil industry, but helped lift up Mexico and Argentina

Petropolitics was the dominant force in Latin American energy in 2017. Start in Venezuela, where utter mismanagement of the nation's oil industry and petro-wealth continued to plunge the country into a deep economic and political crisis. The descent has been extreme. The economy shrank by 12% in 2017 bringing the total contraction to a third since the 2014 oil price collapse, while inflation galloped to more than 650%. The government was short on cash, and imports of vital food and medicines plummeted, giving a humanitarian dimension to the crisis too. Many Venezuelans, once among the wealthiest in the region, fled for neighbouring Brazil, Colombia, or Miami—if they could afford it. Throu

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