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realclearworld

Cuba at the mercy of Venezuelan voters?

If it were not for the fact that elections in Venezuela are seriously and hopelessly rigged, I imagine the Castro dictatorship in Cuba would be very worried about the outcome of the upcoming elections in that country.

Via CBC News:

Cuba's economy at mercy of Venezuela's voters

Post-Chavez election threatens Cuba's subsidized oil

In Cuba, state restrictions have loosened in the past year or so. One result: private cars acting as taxis for tourists and other visitors, like here in downtown Havana.

In Cuba, state restrictions have loosened in the past year or so. One result: private cars acting as taxis for tourists and other visitors, like here in downtown Havana. (Reuters)

It is not just Venezuelans who are looking anxiously at their post-Hugo Chavez future.

Cubans, too, have much to lose if Venezuela's government changes after the April 14 election, and they're not happy about it.

In campaign speeches, Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles is threatening to axe the long-time lifeline Venezuela has been providing to Cuba in the form of heavily discounted oil.

For 13 years, the small Caribbean state has depended on Venezuela for nearly 100,000 barrels a day of petroleum — to light Cuba's homes and the hotels that underpin its tourist economy — at discount prices that amount to an estimated $6-billion subsidy over the six-year life of the current agreement.

"The giveaways to other countries are going to end," Capriles told a student rally in Zulia recently. "Not another drop of oil will go toward financing the government of the Castros."

The market-friendly Venezuelan governor is no fan of the radical socialism of the late president Hugo Chavez who viewed Cuba's Fidel Castro as a mentor. And his message is getting through to Cubans loud and clear.

"The opposition is talking about cutting off the oil and if they do we're in big trouble," says Tina (not her real name), a tour guide in the northern province of Mattanzas.

Trouble is not something Cuba needs any more of, particularly now.

"After the triumph of the revolution in 1959, Cuba became an upside-down pyramid. Labourers at the top. Professionals at the bottom," says Tina, her own life being a case in point.

Continue reading HERE.

1 comment to Cuba at the mercy of Venezuelan voters?

  • Gallardo

    "Cubans, too, have much to lose if Venezuela's government changes after the April 14 election, and they're not happy about it."

    Oh really, "Cubans" would have so much to loose if Castro's 54 year-old stalinist tyranny collapses. Indeed, they would all be so sad that an aberration run by fraudulent scum and that has betrayed and ruined them as slaves in their own nation can no longer buy rice for them. I must have missed how much the Eastern Europeans cried once the USSR collapsed and how Germans in east Berlin resisted and secluded themselves in sorrow once the wall fell. By the way, the communists put up the wall only as a canvas so that people on the other side could express themselves artistically in the form of murals. It was never mean to retain and force people to a fraudulent and slavish regime whose reality very few would ever want to be part of.

    And also, I am glad they mentioned it - permitting the population to drive their grandfather's 1958 Buicks as taxis for Canadian pedophiles through the crumbling nation is also such a boost to the GDP? Who would want Castro Inc. disappearing now after so much in the horizon do to such reformers.