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Cuba and Venezuela Sign Fourteen Economic Agreements
Cuba and Venezuela continue to strengthen relations with the signing Saturday by President Hugo Chavez and Cuban First Vice President Raul Castro of fourteen economic agreements within the framework of the 4th Petrocaribe Summit held December 21 in Cienfuegos, Cuba.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, held in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, the island's vice president Carlos Lage said the Bolivarian revolution is an example for the world, and "we are proud to be friends with the Venezuelan people."

Lage talked about the growing development of the economic exchange between Cuba and Venezuela and noted that this year, 2007, agreements between the two nations were estimated at 7,000 million dollars.

Twenty seven economic accords have been penned between the two
countries, he said, not including the agreements signed this December
22. He explained that the joint projects are already bearing fruit,
noting as an example the Cienfuegos' oil refinery that was
re-inaugurated Friday, December 21.

In addition, Lage made reference to Venezuela's oil contribution to the Caribbean nations. He mentioned the Caracas agreement through which Venezuela would provide Central American and Caribbean nations with oil, and gave them the possibility to pay 25% of the bill, at very low-interest.

Lage mentioned the fact that back then, Chavez offered Cuban President Fidel Castro to double up the 53,000 barrels of oil sent daily to the island, also proposing easier payment terms, in a demonstration of support for the Cuban revolution.

Fidel refused to accept the offer arguing that it was not the right
moment for such a deal, so the island joined the same agreement as the rest of the countries of the area.

"It was after that, that Petrocaribe emerged," said Lage, adding that
there is no other oil-producing country with a similar project that is
based on solidarity and on the development needs of the region.


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