Oil is the lifeblood of Venezuela. It accounts for nearly all of its exports and two-thirds of the state budget. Unfortunately, the price of petroleum fell by more than half from its peak two years ago. Venezuela’s foreign reserves have plunged to a 13-year low of $12.6 billion, and will see its economy shrink 8% this year while inflation will soar to almost 500%, according to the International Monetary Fund. Also, the reduction in imports to save the currency is aggravating shortages of everything from toilet paper to medicine.