Putin’s Next Move: Cuba, Venezuela?

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Let’s stick with some of this geopolitical discussion of Venezuela, because there are two things that relate to this and Russia. We’ve got to bring Russia into this, given Vladimir Putin’s obvious desire and movements already being made to reestablish and rebuild the Soviet Union.

Venezuela, at the moment, is in this kind of bad shape, with it’s “annualized inflation rate reaching 57%.” The problem is that Cuba is dependent on Venezuela for its oil. Venezuela’s oil is what fuels the Cuban economy and allows them to grow and raise the sugar and other things that they export. Venezuela’s oil provides 60% of Cuba’s demands. “In exchange, Cuba sends about 30,000 doctors to Venezuela, according to an analysis by Pavel Vidal, a former official at Cuba’s central bank and now an economics professor at the Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia.”

“For the last decade, Venezuela’s oil has helped fuel Cuba’s economy, providing 60% of the communist-ruled island’s demand,” and then Cuba sends the doctors. “The commercial relationship with leftist Venezuela accounts for 40% of Cuba’s trade — or 18% of Cuba’s gross domestic product, Vidal said. If Venezuela were to cut Cuba loose,” if Venezuela said: We can’t even take care of ourselves, here; we can’t afford to give you oil or sell it cheaply or whatever.

“If Venezuela were to cut Cuba loose, it could cause Cuba’s economy to contract anywhere from 4% to 7.7%.” Cuba’s economy is nothing to write home about. “‘Cuba depends on Venezuela’s political situation,’ Vidal said. ‘And right now, Venezuela is unpredictable.'” It’s tenuous. In addition to all of that, “Canada’s largest airline announced Monday it has suspended flights to and from Venezuela capital Caracas as violent protests continue in the country.



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