[www.inewsguyana.com] – Diplomacy of the governments of Hugo Chávez andNicolásMaduro, tapping on oil barrels to forge alliances and fasten political and economic cooperation, relies on Petrocaribe as an example of solidarity and complementarity arisen from commitments and obligations contracted between Venezuela and Central American and Caribbean nations.
The Petrocaribe scheme, established in 2004 on the initiative of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, comprises Venezuela and other 17 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Suriname.
This group of countries received at least 103,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil byproducts in 2013, 84% of the goal, according to data supplied by state-run oil holding Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa).
At the value of the Venezuelan oil basket, ended at USD 99.49 per barrel in 2013, Venezuela’s oil shipments to Petrocaribe amounted to USD 3.7 billion.
Petrocaribe’s recipients can pay Venezuela with products, mainly food. “Petrocaribe pays us with enough food. Last year ended with USD 800 million paid with meat, milk. It is not like people think, that they pay to us with a declaration,” Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum and Mining Rafael Ramírez informed some weeks ago.
Latest available audited numbers show that 11 out of these countries got in 2012, 111,000 bpd of oil and byproducts, sold under preferential payment and financing terms of up to 50% of the oil bill for up to 25 years.
As appears from the numbers furnished by the Oil Minister, last year Petrocaribe paid Venezuela 21% of the oil bill with goods and food. The remainder, about USD 2.9 billion, was possibly paid in cash or accounted in Pdvsa’s short- and long term receivables.
“The current debt amounts to approximately USD 1 billion which we turn into food,” Minister Ramírez said in February.
According to him, the amount for 2013 “has been steady. They receive oil products and quotas are the same.”
To date, Pdvsa’s audited financial statements have not been released. However, at the end of 2012, Pdvsa’s accounts receivable had increased to 32% versus 2011, up to USD 41.7 billion.