Pump prices have soared to more than $5.20 a gallon – the highest in Central America – despite the Venezuelan leader's promise to solve the country's 'oil problem.'
On Sunday, the Amazonian states of Beni and Pando voted overwhelmingly in favor of more autonomy from the socialist government of Evo Morales.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's approval has dropped hard in her first six months.
Production dropped this year after reaching a post-Soviet high in October. On Monday, Putin's newly convened cabinet made the issue its first order of business.
Will the new guerilla leader, Alfonso Cano, free US and other hostages?
A top leftist rebel commander turned herself in Sunday. Colombia's government is touting the move as the latest in a series of devastating blows to the leftist rebels.
In 2008, Venezuela's inflation rate is projected to be 25 percent – second only to Zimbabwe's.
Nelly Avila Moreno's call for dialogue comes as the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez accuses the US of stirring tension.