PDVSA Board Opposes Renewing Shipments to Cuba

The majority of the company board of PDVSA opposes the plan to renew shipments of 53,000 barrels of crude a day to Cuba beginning August 1st, the local daily El Nacional reported. The board wants first a solid guarantee the Cuban government will honor its payments before resuming shipments, company officials were quoted as saying.

According to PDVSA, Cuba owes the company $142 million. The agreement under which Cuba buys Venezuelan oil at preferential financing terms, was suspended when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was ousted in an April 12-14 coup. However, company president Ali Rodriguez said earlier this week that shipments would resume. During Chavez's brief ouster, PDVSA officials decided not to deliver more oil to Cuba, claiming Venezuela was giving it away. Chavez's government insists the deal is similar to others in which Venezuela helps struggling Caribbean nations. When Chavez returned, Venezuela urged Cuba to pay, and Rodriguez said Wednesday the issue had been resolved.