VENEZUELA: Pefro/ecrr Society

When Carlos Andrés Pérez was elected President of Venezuela a year ago this week, his country faced an enviable economic crisis. Rising oil prices threatened to fill the national coffers at more than triple the 1973 rate of $3 billion. "The $10 billion will crush us," warned former Minister of Mines and OPEC Founder Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo. "We have a President with a moun tain of gold to dispense. Everyone will be thinking how to put his hand in the bag."

As it turned out, Venezuela had a few creative ideas of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!