Trinidad, Venezuela Sign Deal For Natural Gas Exploration

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro signed a deal Tuesday with Trinidad & Tobago for joint exploration of natural gas in waters between both nations.

Maduro and Trinidad Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar also signed an agreement to increase the trade of goods between the two governments.

"This is a unique and historic event because it's the first time in this hemisphere such an agreement is being signed allowing for the cooperation for the exploitation of these resources," Maduro said.

Trinidad's leader said the twin-island nation expects to export products including cement, gasoline and air conditioners to Venezuela and import gas, crude petroleum and jet fuel from the South American country.

Both leaders also agreed to cooperate on security, education and cultural issues, as well as examine the detention of five Trinidad Muslims jailed in Venezuela amid accusations they plotted a coup against Maduro's government.

The deals were signed as Venezuela struggles with 68 percent inflation and widespread shortages.

Trinidad is the second biggest energy producer in the Caribbean after nearby Venezuela and is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas to the United States.


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