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Profile: Venezuela

Venezuela was a participant or observer in the following events:

After a two-day conference in the resort town of Montego Bay, Jamaica, energy officials from a number of Caribbean countries agree to a proposal by Venezuela to form a new oil company that would distribute crude and refined oil products to Caribbean countries under preferential terms. A commission led by Venezuela will devise a plan for the new company, to be called PetroCaribe, and a follow-up meeting will take place in the Bahamas in November. “PetroCaribe should be a catalyst for the introduction of alternative approaches to market access… and correction of the various pricing inequities that prevail in some markets,” the officials say in a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the conference. Many of the countries are concerned that high energy prices will devastate their economies and lead to social unrest. Another initiative proposed by Venezuela during the conference is the establishment of a fund to provide grants for health, education, and housing programs in the Caribbean. Countries participating in the talks include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. [Associated Press, 8/27/2005]

Entity Tags: Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Venezuela, Petrocaribe, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Rodrigo Rato, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), urges oil producing countries to save the extra revenue generated from high oil prices. Venezuela, the world’s fifth largest oil exporter, shuns the advice and continues to use its oil revenue to fund literacy, health, and other social programs. In addition to the money that Petroleos de Venezuela, the country’s state oil company, contributes to the government, the company directly funds and administers another $3 billion in social projects. [BBC, 11/24/2004]

Entity Tags: Venezuela, International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo Rato

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

CIA Director Porter Goss, testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, names five Latin American countries as “potential areas for instability” for 2005. First on his list is Venezuela, followed by Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, and Cuba. In Venezuela, according to Goss, President Chavez “is consolidating his power by using technically legal tactics to target his opponents and meddling in the region, supported by Castro.” In Colombia, Haiti, and Mexico, 2005 elections could bring instability, he says, while in Cuba, “a bad fall last October has rekindled speculation about his declining health and succession scenarios.” [US Congress, 2/16/2005; Venezuela Analysis, 10/19/2005]

Entity Tags: Venezuelan National Assembly, Salomon Centeno, Nelson Merentes, Venezuela

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Venezuela and Cuba sign a number of deals, deepening economic ties between the two countries. One of the deals made is that the two countries will construct a joint shipyard in the western Venezuelan state of Zulia where naval ships will be built and repaired. The Cuban government also agrees to purchase from Venezuela food products such as canned sardines, gelatin, puddings and marmalades, chocolate drinks, condensed milk, as well as work clothes, including 400,000 pairs of boots. Additionally, Venezuela says that the 53,000 barrels of oil it began selling to Cuba on preferential terms in 2000 (see Late April 2005) has been increased to 90,000 barrels per day. In exchange, Cuba will increase the presence of Cuban doctors working in Venezuelan slums and rural hamlets from 13,000 to 30,000 by the end of 2005, in addition to providing training to 40,000 new Venezuelan doctors. [Canadian Press, 5/5/2005; Associated Press, 7/13/2005]

Entity Tags: Venezuela, Cuba

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Thirteen Caribbean countries, led by Venezuela, sign the Petrocaribe Alliance, an energy cooperation agreement that will allow member nations to purchase oil from Venezuela under preferential terms. The agreement, signed during a one-day regional summit in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, calls for the establishment of a regional refinery network overseen by Venezuela that will produce and ship oil to member nations. The agreement is signed by Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominican, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, San Cristobal and Nieves, Santa Lucia, San Vicente and the Granadinas, Surinam, and Venezuela. Two countries, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, choose not to sign. [United Press International, 6/30/2005; BBC, 9/7/2005; Nation News (Barbados), 9/18/2005; Petroleos de Venezuela, 11/28/2005] The details of the pact will be decided in September (see September 7, 2005)

Entity Tags: Dominican Republic, Grenada, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Petrocaribe, Venezuela, Bahamas

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Caribbean leaders sign an agreement specifying the details of Hugo Chavez’s Petrocaribe Alliance. Under the agreement, Caribbean governments would purchase Venezuelan oil at market price. Whenever world market prices for oil surpass the $40 a barrel mark, Venezuela would offer to finance 40 percent of the cost to be payable over a period of 17-25 years at 1 percent interest. Further concessions would be granted if the price of oil surpasses the $100 mark. Governments will be permitted to pay a portion of their oil tab with services or goods such as rice, bananas, or sugar. “We have the opportunity to break from the path of imposed domination and servitude,” Chavez says during the talks. “The capitalist model… imposed on us is not sustainable.” The talks are attended by representatives of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Surinam, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines. [Associated Press, 6/30/2005; BBC, 9/7/2005]

Entity Tags: Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominican Republic, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Venezuela, Petrocaribe, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

The US Department of State releases its 2005 edition of Country Reports on Terrorism, in which it states that Cuba remains a “state sponsor of terrorism, while Venezuela virtually ceased its cooperation in the global war on terror.” According to the report, Venezuela has been “tolerating terrorists in its territory and seeking closer relations with Cuba and Iran.” [US Department of State, 2006, pp. 155 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Venezuela, Cuba, US Department of State

Timeline Tags: US International Relations, US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

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