The end of the Castros’ Venezuelan gravy train?

The presidential elections scheduled to take place next year in Venezuela will have ramifications far beyond the South American country’s borders. Assuming Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez’ cancer has not yet sent him to receive his eternal rewards, the 2012 elections will be watched closely by the Cuban dictatorship who has survived these past years primarily from the financial support provided by the Chavez regime.

But do not expect for the Castro regime, which has thousands of agents infiltrated into the Venezuelan government’s power structure, to sit idly by and watch its fortunes and survival decided by the Venezuelan electorate. As they have done in the past, the Castro international crime syndicate will proactively engage in Venezuela’s “democratic process” to ensure by any means necessary a victory by Chavez or whomever they chose to be his successor.

To do otherwise would mean the end of the gravy train:

Venezuela’s Perez would revise Cuba oil deal

CARACAS, Nov 10 (Reuters) – A leading opposition candidate hoping to challenge Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez at next year’s presidential election would revise preferential oil deals with Cuba and other Central American nations if he wins.

Pablo Perez, governor of the oil-rich western state of Zulia, is one of three front-runners who will take part in an opposition primary in February to pick a unity candidate to take on Chavez at the main vote in October.

Chavez has closely allied himself and his socialist “revolution” with communist-led Cuba.

“Venezuela is losing $8 billion (a year) because of gifts that are given out by the government. With that money we can generate 1.1 million jobs,” Perez told Reuters this week after a walking tour of Caracas’s upmarket Chacao district.

The 42-year-old lawyer did not elaborate, but the opposition frequently bash what they say are overly-generous oil deals that the Chavez government has made with political allies including Cuba and some Central American states.

If an opposition candidate defeats Chavez next year and ends the former soldier’s 13 years in power, they would all be expected to review these deals. The majority of the agreements are unpopular with Venezuelans, according to opinion polls.

Venezuela sends about 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil to Cuba. In exchange, thousands of Cuban doctors, nurses and teachers work in Venezuela, including in projects such as President Chavez’s signature socialist “missions” in slums.

Cuba’s struggling economy is closely intertwined with that of Venezuela, which as well as supplying about two-thirds of Cuba’s oil needs is also refurbishing the island’s antiquated refineries and planning to build a new one.