Will Venezuela curtail cheap oil for Cuba?

March 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Venezuela will be hard-pressed to keep providing cheap oil and loans to Cuba and other allies given the “faltering” state of its economy, a senior U.S. commander said on Wednesday.

Cuba and other nations with ties to Caracas “realize that they cannot continue to get the very, very, very reasonable rates on loans and oil and things like that at the cost they get it,” said the head of U.S. Southern Command, Gen. John Kelly, who oversees U.S. forces in South America.

“I don’t think probably Venezuela can sustain that,” Kelly told the House Armed Services Committee.

Cuba and other states that have benefited from Caracas’ assistance were “nervous” about the future after the death of Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez, on March 5, the general said.

With Venezuela’s presidential elections set for April 14, Kelly said “anyone that is elected would have to rethink the flow of money that goes out of the country to essentially buy friends.”

For more than a decade, Cuba has relied heavily on cheap Venezuelan oil and favorable terms of trade to keep its economy afloat.

Kelly said acting President Nicolas Maduro was expected to defeat opposition leader Henrique Capriles in the April vote, but that he would face a daunting task with a troubled economy while lacking Chavez’s charismatic appeal.

The next president would inherit a country with “very, very high crime, high murder rates,” and its “economy is faltering,” while the oil industry badly needed investment, the four-star general said.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Off the eaten path: Bar y Restaurante Rio de Janeiro
Dining and Nightlife
154 views
Dining and Nightlife
154 views

Off the eaten path: Bar y Restaurante Rio de Janeiro

William Ayre - October 19, 2018

Apart from its name and a mural inside featuring the namesake city in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is a very…

Buchón cantina: Spritz cocktails to dine for
Dining and Nightlife
932 views
Dining and Nightlife
932 views

Buchón cantina: Spritz cocktails to dine for

Natalia Díaz - October 18, 2018

Buchón was the first place I tasted the Aperol Spritz, months before it became fashionable around San José. In fact,…

Tico Times Shade: What does ‘middle class’ mean in Costa Rica?
Tico Times Shade
3298 views
Tico Times Shade
3298 views

Tico Times Shade: What does ‘middle class’ mean in Costa Rica?

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 18, 2018

It’s not often The Tico Times writes an explainer about basic Costa Rican daily living that’s equally surprising to a…