Friday, July 8, 2016

How The Crisis In Venezuela Is Impacting Cuba

The logo of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA is seen at a gas station in Caracas, Venezuela June 30, 2016. REUTERS/CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS

Marianna Parraga and Alexander Ulmer, Reuters: Venezuela's energy woes spread to its closest ally: Cuba

Venezuela's falling crude output and financial woes have left it struggling to maintain a 15-year-old oil assistance program to its closest ally, Cuba.

State-run oil firm PDVSA has slashed its exports to Communist-run Cuba this year, according to the company's internal trade data, seen exclusively by Reuters.

The shift signals an unraveling of the oil diplomacy pioneered by Venezuela's late socialist leader Hugo Chavez and helps explain why Cuba, which generates electricity from fuels, recently ordered some joint ventures and state-owned firms to reduce power usage.

It also comes as Cuba improves its relations with the United States after decades of antagonism and a U.S. economic embargo while Venezuela, mired in triple-digit inflation and acute product shortages, is in a prolonged standoff with Washington.

Cuba, long reliant on Venezuela as its top energy supplier, has received some 53,500 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from PDVSA this year, a 40 percent decline from the first half of 2015, according to the company's data.

Read more ....

Update: Cuba parliament meets amid fiscal woes, energy restrictions (AP)

WNU Editor: Communist-run Cuba will survive .... but for its citizens, one more reason to leave.

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