Chavez pushes through oil for Cuba
Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2002
BBC - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said his government is restarting supplies of subsidised oil to Cuba five months after they were suspended during a failed coup against him.
The decision to resume the shipments of 53,000 barrels a day has been particularly controversial in the oil-rich South American nation which is going through an economic crisis.
Mr Chavez's opponents have accused him of giving away oil because of his friendship with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Opposition parties have begun legal action against Mr Chavez at the country's Supreme Court, saying the deal was never approved by Venezuela's parliament.
Venezuela's charismatic leader was characteristically bullish when he announced the resumption of the country's oil supplies to Cuba.
He insisted the agreement was commercially sound and did not represent a gift to his friend, Mr Castro.
Shrugging off his opponents' legal challenge, he said:
"If they want to indict me, then I'm waiting here for them to put on the handcuffs." MORE