PETROANALYSIS || ARTICLE
Cuba has a real stake in Venezuelan oil
By Mazhar Al-Shereidah
It is not an easy task to have an in-depth conversation and the respective analysis whilst in darkness. The blackout experienced in Venezuela in the past days was a severe event that even hindered objective and balanced discussions. All of a sudden technical subjects became political and ideological.
That Venezuela is amidst a serious and global crisis is no secret, and as the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, people especially in nations with high fuel prices ask how is it possible to have so much oil and at the same time lack essentials such as food or medicine.
True, crude oil production has declined from 3.6 million b/d in 1998 to around 1.3 million b/d at the end of February of this year. And there is also much talk about the main objective of the USA being to get hold of these vast oil reserves…
But suddenly a different question arose: Cuba!
Where would Cuba get its crude oil and refined products from if Venezuela stopped supplying them?
None of the participants in the discussion was in a position to answer the question clearly and directly.
When asked about the reason for putting the question, the young lady who was participating replied:
“If you look at that country’s history since 1959, oil supplies have been guaranteed by two important oil producers – Russia and Venezuela. First of all, it was the USSR that did so until the collapse of socialism in 1990 when Yeltsin couldn’t guarantee a subsidized supply to the Caribbean island. And then, relatively soon thereafter, Venezuela has taken over that responsibility up to the present difficult times.”
The conclusion of that short argument was that Havana is indeed the most interested country on a regional level in the defense of the present Venezuelan government.
The discussion took a political path and we opted for leaving it at that because the fact is that positions are polarized and passionate attitudes don’t fit in our trajectory.