Venezuela to send Palestine cheap oil in fresh deal

Venezuela and Palestine have signed fresh agreements on oil, taxation and diplomatic cooperation, Venezuela Analysis said on May 19. The agreements were made during a visit by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to Venezuela.

In a key agreement, Venezuela created a new corporation, Petro-Palestina, through which Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will send oil to Palestine at a subsidised price. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro committed to sending an initial shipment of 240,000 barrels of oil.

It is not clear how the shipment will reach its destination, as Israel maintains an economic blockade of the Palestinian territories. However, Maduro said: “The Palestinian people have the right to have energy relations with the world. I’m sure there won’t be obstacles or problems.”

Venezuela does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, which it severed in 2009 in response to Israel’s assault on the Gaza strip in January of that year.

Other agreements reached between Abbas and Maduro included plans to establish a free eye clinic in the West Bank under the Venezuelan- and Cuban-run Miracle Mission.

Venezuela also announced the Palestinian State would be a “special observer” to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and Petrocaribe, two regional alliances founded by Venezuela.

“Thanks to Venezuela for supporting Palestine, for helping to break Israel’s monopoly over our economy, [and] for supporting the Palestinian people in their long struggle,” Abbas said.

[Abridged from Venezuela Analysis.]

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