Cuba eyes Qatar, Algeria for oil with Venezuela in crisis

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

Havana , Cuba (AFP) — With top ally Venezuela in crisis, Cuba is moving to cover its oil needs elsewhere, seeking possible alternative supplies in Qatar and Algeria, officials said Monday.

Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca was in Qatar on Sunday, and headed to Algeria yesterday, the foreign ministry said.

In Doha, Malmierca met with prime minister and interior minister, Abdullah bin Nasser Khalifa al Thani, as well as with finance and other authorities.

Cuba is socialist Venezuela's closest international ally.

Since the 2000s, Venezuela has provided oil and economic support to the Americas' only Communist regime, while Havana has sent Caracas thousands of doctors, sports coaches and military advisers.

Many experts say there are Cuban advisers in the highest levels of the Venezuelan army.

With Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro facing a serious crisis, “there is real concern (in Cuba) about the loss of earnings,” a diplomat recently told AFP after meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

The loss of Venezuelan oil would weaken a Cuban economy that is already performing poorly, with annual growth of only about one per cent and shortages of food.

With a 40 per cent drop in Venezuelan oil shipments in recent years, the island “has begun to look for alternative oil suppliers: Russia, Iran and other countries”, said Paul Webster Hare, a former British ambassador who has lived in Cuba and Venezuela.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon