Keeping each other in power.

Via Miami Herald:

Venezuelan oil production is dropping rapidly and the government has no money to buy food, medicines or consumer goods, but there is one item that the socialist regime of President Nicolás Maduro seems unwilling to sacrifice under any circumstances: oil subsidies to Cuba.

News reports that a shipment of 500,000 barrels of crude was on its way this week to the port of Matanzas in northwestern Cuba sparked indignation among many in Venezuela, a country suffering under the worst economic crisis of its history.

The oil that Venezuela supplies to Cuba equals about 55,000 barrels per day and costs about $1.2 billion per year, money that could help the country curb inflation, import urgently needed medicines or provide food to the 9 million Venezuelans who say they eat only once per day.

But Maduro has made it clear that he prefers to keep supermarkets empty rather than suspend the shipments to Cuba, said Antonio De La Cruz, executive director of the Washington-based consultancy firm Inter American Trends.

Why?

“Because Cuba today is the real mainstay of his power,” said De La Cruz. “Without the Cuban support, Maduro would have been gone a long time ago. Havana today is supplying him with the instruments of repression and the intelligence apparatus that allows him to stay in power despite the tornado he faces.”

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HT: Huck Funn