Friday, December 21, 2007

Chavez praised Petrocaribe, met with Castro

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez called for an expansion of the Petrocaribe oil program during a summit of affiliated nations being held in Cuba. “Despite the Yankees, our gas is at the service of Venezuela first, and next to our brothers in the Caribbean,” declared Chavez earlier today as he also called for some countries to use social services to repay the oil exported from Venezuela.

In addition, Chavez met for over two hours with Fidel Castro yesterday. A brief account in Granma said that the leaders discussed several topics including the Petrocaribe plan, political affairs between Cuba and Venezuela, and “the international situation.”

What is Petrocaribe? According to a 2005 BBC News article:

The Petrocaribe initiative aims to reduce the prices Caribbean nations pay for oil imports. Venezuela already gives preferential treatment to communist Cuba and other nations…

Mr. Chavez has pledged highly preferential oil prices, with Caracas picking up 40% of the cost if oil is selling at more than $50 a barrel, as it is now.

He has promised further concessions to the Petrocaribe signatories if prices hit the $100 a barrel mark.

Sources (English)- CNN, Reuters, AFP, BBC News

Sources (Spanish)- Granma

Image- Cuban News Agency

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