PUERTO LA CRUZ, Venezuela – Fresh from his confrontation with Pres. George Bush at the Summit of the Americas, Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez is using his most powerful asset – oil – to challenge U.S. dominance in the Caribbean. His latest move, according to the BBC, is a regional oil initiative to provide fuel at cheaper prices to 15
Chavez pledged more concessions to those signing on to the initiative if prices hit the $100 a barrel mark, and said he will put $50 million into a fund to kick off the plan.
The one condition being placed on the deal is that all business must be between governments, with no role for Texaco and other private energy companies.
Cuban Pres. Fidel Castro, who attended a regional summit staged to announce the initiative, hailed it as an important step toward greater regional solidarity. Delegations from Antigua and Barduda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, and Trinidad and Tobago also attendd.