Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has slammed US capitalism as “the road to hell” and pushed his country’s offer to trade oil for goods or services.
At a meeting of Caribbean countries in Cuba Chavez said his neighbours could pay off their fuel debts by bartering.
Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves outside the Middle-East, offers a buy now, pay later scheme for its oil, but that has pushed many Caribbean countries into more debt.
Cuba’s stand-in president, Raoul Castro, praised the proposed cooperative energy system.
Hugo Chavez is on a mission to counter US domination, even though America is a major customer for Venezuelan crude oil.
He has decried President George W. Bush’s attempts to forge free trade pacts with certain Latin American countries, insisting they must stick together.
Venezuela is Cuba’s most important trading partner. Chavez has paid to rehabilitate the country’s only Soviet-era petrol refinery in exchange for the services of 20,000 Cuban doctors.
The refinery will provide more than a thousand jobs and Venezuela will provide the raw material.