Venezuelan oil basket opens 2013 above USD 100
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining reported that in the week of December 31, 2012 to January 4, 2013, the Venezuelan oil basket price ended at USD 100.56 a barrel.
"Optimism about the US tax deal and favorable signs from China's economy shored up oil prices during the first week of the year," the ministry said in a press release.
The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.