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n air of caution and concern hung in the air as gasoline prices in Venezuela shot up Friday to 15 cents a gallon – a paltry amount elsewhere but a startling increase in this oil-rich yet financially-beaten country.

The price had been less than a tenth of a penny per gallon the day before, and history showed how abruptly Venezuela’s mood could shift when the price of gasoline was adjusted upward. More than 1,000 people were killed in a week-long riot in the late 1980s when there was an effort to raise prices.

But this time, Venezuelans seemed stoic in the face of higher gas prices, announced earlier in the week by President Nicolas Maduro. Even with the increase, Venezuelan gas is still the cheapest in the world.

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