Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Ends Deal to Supply Cheap Gasoline to Colombian Region
Aug 21--The Venezuelan government said it will not renew a deal to provide inexpensive gasoline to Colombian border areas after that accord expired earlier this week, Energy and Mines Minister Rafael Ramirez said.
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“We see no reason to renew this agreement, which expired yesterday,” Ramirez told reporters Wednesday about the move, which comes as bilateral tensions have flared up over a proposed deal to let U.S. troops use Colombian military bases and Bogota’s insinuations that oil-rich Venezuela has been arming leftist rebels.
“We not willing to continue subsidizing the Colombian economy when on that side highly unfriendly decisions are being made against our people and our country,” Ramirez, who also heads state oil company PDVSA, said.
Ramirez said the gasoline deal, under which Venezuela supplied the border region with 11 million barrels of gasoline a month at preferential prices to combat smuggling, was ended in response to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s decision to give the U.S. military access to seven bases.
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