Cuban-Americans: Castros Can’t Survive Without Venezuelan Oil
Newsmax, Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 07:27 PM
Cuban-American leaders say the violent crackdown by the Venezuelan strongman, President Nicolas Maduro is being orchestrated from Havana.
They tell Newsmax that Cuban dictators Raul and Fidel Castro are desperate to avert a disruption in the massive shipments of oil that their destitute nation receives daily as a gift from their socialist comrades in Venezuela. The value of the more than 100,000 barrels a day Havana receives has been estimated at over $5 billion annually.
On Thursday, former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich told “America’s Forum” host John Bachman in an exclusive Newsmax TV interview that the unrest in Venezuela “absolutely” can spread to Cuba, if those vital oil subsidies are interrupted.
“The person who agrees with you, the two persons, are named Fidel and Raul Castro,” said Reich, a Cuban-American. “The Cuban economy today is being kept afloat by Venezuelan subsidies of free oil.”
The links between Cuba and Venezuela are wide ranging. By some estimates, as many as 50,000 Cubans live and work in Venezuela.
Many of them are doctors, nurses, and teachers. The Castros ostensibly offer their services in exchange for the oil their country so desperately needs.
But Cuban-American author and commentator Humberto Fontova tells Newsmax that at least half of the Cubans in Venezuela are “intelligence and police specialists who were trained by the KGB.”
He adds the Cuban regime is trying to tamp down the protests to ensure its oils supplies are protected.
“Essentially, they will not be able to survive without those subsidies,” Fontova tells Newsmax.
Asked how much control he thinks the Castro brothers have over the Maduro government, Fontova replied “I think it’s total.”
Fontova has written several books on Cuba, including “The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro.”
Regarding Maduro’s relationship with the Castros, he said: “[Opposition leader] Leopoldo López obviously knows a lot more about that than I do. And the day before he surrendered to authorities he said, ‘Come grab me Maduro. Are you afraid to arrest me? Or are you waiting for your orders from Havana?'”