Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela treaty cobbled together with petrodollars
05.05.06 | The Trade Treaty of Peoples (TCP after its initials in Spanish) signed at the end of April by the Presidents of Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela further consolidates President Hugo Chávez’ continental Bolivarian project. Oil resources that should be put to other uses, to whit the welfare and progress of the Venezuelan people, played a key role in this treaty. No details of the TCP were submitted either to the Legislatures or to the private sectors of Bolivia and Venezuela for consultation. However, in announcements made from Asunción (April 19) and Havana (April 30), President Chávez has mentioned a few points that give an idea of the treaty’s scope and cost.
First, this new treaty will apparently do away completely with customs duties on trade between Bolivia, Cuba, and Venezuela.
Second, Cuba and Venezuela are to buy 100% of Bolivia’s soybean exports, although Venezuela is apparently to stand as guarantor for the full payment of these exports. This suggests that, on the one hand, Castro will receive Bolivian soybeans without paying a cent, so expanding the subsidy to the Cuban regime, which came to more than $3.5 billion in 2005 and another $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2006; and that, on the other, it will help Evo Morales to neutralize the hard-line opposition in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a major soybean producer region.
Third, the TCP also establishes that Bolivia is also to export an unspecified volume of coca leaf to Cuba and Venezuela. It is to be assumed that Venezuela will also guarantee payment for these exports to both countries.
Fourth, Venezuela undertakes to cover 100% of Bolivia’s demand for diesel, besides granting it preferential payment terms similar to those given to PetroCaribe. It also provides for a barter arrangement for offsetting Bolivia’s oil debt with Venezuela with the supply to Cuba and Venezuela of agricultural, mining, and industrial products and by sending legions of sports trainers, teachers, doctors, and agricultural, industrial and energy “advisors” from Cuba and Venezuela, who will sow the seeds of the Castro-Chavista revolution.
And lastly, under the TCP, Venezuela will finance two special funds to the tune of $130 million to help finance social and economic development projects in Bolivia.
This treaty has already allowed Bolivia to underpin the “nationalization” of its gas industry and Cuba to continue consolidating its tyranny. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s main source of revenues is being put to other uses than that of generating health, employment, and education for the Venezuelan people.
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