Updated 01:31 PM EST, Thu, Nov 26, 2020

Venezuela's Call for Emergency OPEC Meeting Shut Down by Other Delegates

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Member nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have snubbed Venezuela's call for an emergency meeting. Unlike the South American stakeholder, other OPEC delegates aren't fazed by the slumping oil prices.

One representative from the Middle East said the request for a meeting was "extraordinary," while another unnamed delegate said that the drop in oil prices is just temporary, per Reuters

"It will not be low for a very long time," said the OPEC source. "If the price does fall to $20, many producers will leave the market."

Right now, Oil prices have plunged to below $28 per barrel. That's the lowest it has ever been since 2003. While the sag doesn't necessarily signal a global crisis, its effects can still be felt by all producers, especially recession-stricken countries like Venezuela.

Venezuela Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino has repeatedly requested for an emergency meeting this February. He indicated that the current oil prices are too low, and that the fair level should be $60 a barrel, per Reuters.

"We need a production cut that allows, for now, a stabilization of prices," said del Pino. "Every day it goes down $3, up $3. That does not allow us to plan."

The Venezuelan representative added that he has consulted with several of his contemporaries so that the February meeting will push through. Del Pino is also inviting non-OPEC countries to participate since he believes all are affected by the low oil prices.

According to OPEC guidelines, an emergency meeting will only be arranged if the majority of the 13 members supports it. That being said, Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have a huge role in approving or vetoing requests.

"There is no change in the Gulf coun‎tries' position with their market share strategy," said one OPEC representative. "Also none of the non-OPEC (countries) show they are willing to cooperate with OPEC for a cut. Iran also still didn't add (extra) oil to the market. So things didn't change."

Aside from the country's economic downturn caused by the low prices of oil, Venezuela is also suffering from a nationwide food shortage. The problem has gotten so perverse that President Nicolas Maduro has implemented a radical strategy to keep most Venezuelans fed three times a day, Fox News reported.

Venezuelan officials under the newly formed Urban Farming Ministry are now encouraging families to grow their food at home.

"We just need sun, water and a lot of hearth. Currently our cities are just food consumers and parasites," said new agriculture minister Emma Ortega.

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