Cuba attempting to reduce dependency on cheap Venezuelan oil
José F. Sánchez
La Nueva Cuba
November 7, 2009
In a statement on Friday, a senior Cuban government official said Cuba
is paying more for Venezuelan oil than it needs to in order to
discourage dependency on one oil source, according to Reuters India.
Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Siera Diaz said Cuba chose to get oil
under the more expensive "Caracas Accord" instead of through Venezuela's
Petrocaribe group. "We decided to stay with the Caracas agreement so we
would not become too dependent," Siera said.
Cuba still receives most of its oil from Venezuela, which ships 93,000
barrels per day to help cover the island's daily demand of 150,000
barrels per day.
Because Cuba's cash reserves and available credit are extremely limited,
the government pays for part of its oil imports by sending thousands of
doctors and other professionals to work in Venezuela. Siera aid Cuba has
more than 40,000 people working there, including about 30,000 medical
The exact details of economic agreements between Cuba and Venezuela are
highly confidential, although some experts claim Venezuela pays Cuba
around $5 billion per year for its assistance.
Many critics of the Castro regime are angered by the export of Cuban
doctors and professionals to Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America,
when so many Cubans receive sub-standard health care and the island's
infrastructure is crumbling.
Because of Cuba's lack of access to cash and significant amounts of
credit, paying for goods with Cuban services is often the only way the
government can purchase goods in international markets.
LA NUEVA CUBA (7 November 2009)