San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Venezuela Offers Cheap Fuel to El Salvador’s Left

CARACAS, Venezuela – The leftist government of oil-rich Venezuela announced Monday a plan to form a joint venture with the political left in El Salvador to offer cheap gasoline to motorists in the Central American nation.

Talks now under way between Venezuelan officials and leaders of El Salvador’s main opposition party, the  Faribundo Marti National LiberationFront (FMLN), are expected to result in a signing ceremony in Caracas on March 20, Venezuela’s Communications Ministry said in a communiqué.

A similar offer was made to Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista party last September, but that offer has not yet materialized (NT, Sept. 23, 2005). The statement said the new enterprise will be managed by the Inter-Municipal Energy Association for El Salvador, known as Enepasa.

The ministry quoted Enepasa chairman Carlos Ruiz, who is also mayor of the Salvadoran city of Soyapango, as saying that at least a portion of the 35 million gallons of gasoline consumed monthly in his country “will now be administered by the new firm, which will not engage in speculation to plunder the people.”

FMLN leader Medardo González, according to the communiqué, said that the new venture “will not resolve the entire national (fuel) problem, but thousands of Salvadorans will benefit.”

El Salvador’s rightist president, Tony Saca, is a staunch ally of the United States, which accuses Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez of using Venezuela’s oil wealth to promote radical politics and “destabilization” in Latin America.

Venezuela is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of crude and the fourth-leading oil supplier to the United States.


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