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Chávez watch: Caribbean gets cheap oil

The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, struck a new deal with countries in the Caribbean during the PetroCaribe summit last month. In order to adjust prices in line with rising oil prices, Chávez has proposed that member countries pay 40% of the cost of oil purchased from Venezuela. The rest will be paid over 25 years with 1% interest charged. If the price of oil rises above $200 a barrel, the members will pay only 30% within 90 days and the rest under new long-term conditions. Under a 2005 agreement, Venezuela provides countries in the Caribbean basin with oil at a preferential rate in order to "help the weakest countries".

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