Counter-empire oil deals


Richard Moore

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Venezuela boosts oil subsidies to Cuba


Venezuela has increased oil subsidies to Cuba from approximately $3 billion in 
2006 to possibly more than $4 billion this year, according to a University of 
Miami report to be released today.

Venezuela is shipping 94,103 barrels of oil a day to Cuba, the Miami Herald 
cited experts at the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban 
American Studies calculated, based on official Havana figures issued last week.

Last year Cuba received about $3.3 billion in oil products from Venezuela, up 
from $2.7 billion in 2005.

The Miami Herald said Caracas has declined to explain the payment system, but 
experts think Havana gets the energy assistance free of charge.

During the Cold War, Cuba was heavily reliant on the Soviet Union, which 
provided the island nation with some $4 billion to $6 billion annually in 

"Cuba is repeating chapter and verse what it did in the '70s and '80s with 
Russia," Jorge Pinon, ICCAS energy expert, said.

 Turkmenistan, China in gas talks

Officials from China and Turkmenistan are holding natural gas talks in Beijing 
that may have far-reaching consequences not only for bilateral relations, but 
also for other Central Asia states and Russia.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow and Chinese President Hu Jintao 
signed agreements two weeks ago and are continuing gas talks. The two sides also
secured a treaty on Chinese investment to construct a gas pipeline from 
Turkmenistan to China.

The price of gas to be delivered by Turkmenistan is the main issue discussed 
during the talks being conducted by the Turkmenistani delegation in Beijing, 
Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported.

Aleksey Maslov, professor at the Russian University of Friendship of Nations, 
told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that this is extremely disadvantageous for Russia, 
which was going to deliver gas to China at prices exceeding $100.

He said, "The situation in Turkmenistan is reminiscent of the situation in 
Kazakhstan, which unexpectedly reached agreement with China and offered its oil 
and gas at lower prices and thus pushed Moscow aside from contracts with 

[Published August 3, 2007, link]

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