Sarah Marsh and Marianna Parraga
(Reuters) – Venezuela has pulled out of a partnership with Cuba in its Cienfuegos oil refinery and the Caribbean island has taken full ownership of the plant, Cuban state media said on Thursday.
Venezuela is grappling with an economic crisis that already forced it to slash cheap oil shipments to Cuba, which has had a knock-on effect on the island’s ailing economy.
The reason for the dissolution of the partnership was not immediately obvious. A former Venezuelan government official said Cuba had taken Venezuelan state oil-firm PDVSA’s 49 percent stake in the Cienfuegos refinery as payment for debts it said the country incurred.
The source added that Cuba said Venezuela owed it for professional services provided as well as the rental of tankers.