Venezuela swapping oil for food as economic crisis grows

CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Venezuela is trading oil for food with Jamaica, in a deal that sends food, medicine and other materials to Venezuela as the country’s economic crisis grows.

Jamaica announced the deal last week, allowing the island nation to pay off its oil debt to Venezuela in exchange for about $4 million in various goods.

“You could say that it’s goods and services for oil,” said Wesley Hughes, CEO of Jamaica’s PetroCaribe Development Fund, to CNN. “It’s going to be up to Venezuela to decide what they need.”

Severe food shortages have swept Venezuela since the drop in oil prices uncovered the economic mismanagement of former President Hugo Chavez and current President Nicola Madura, who is facing likely removal from office in the next few months.

The 2005 Petro-Caribe agreement ensures all Caribbean countries will receive special rates for Venezuelan oil.

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