Update: According to Carlos Lage in a report dated December 24, the number of healthcare workers is 31,000. Also in the article is the statement that bilateral trade will hit $7 billion. It might more aptly be stated that Venezuelan donations to the regime will total that amount. Oh, yeah, forgot the indentured servants.
Here’s a BBC article about “the oil and politics” at the Petrocaribe summit this week. We already know about the oil-for-bananas deal Chavez offered. But some of the article reminded me of a post this week on Primera Generación this week in which Cuban banker focuses on just how much Chavez is taking away from his own less-than-affluent people, which lead me to wonder about the actual figures involved.
Here is the deal for the 17 nations:
They can defer payment on 40% of their oil bill for up to 25 years, with interest of only 1%.
The terms for Cuba as they are usually described:
Cuba has long received all its Venezuelan oil for free, in exchange for thousands of doctors who help treat the country's poor.
Doesn’t sound like that bad a deal, really, unless you take into account that the doctors and health workers are human beings being treated as a commodity. But take a look at some statistics:
$2.6 million the amount of oil given Cuba in this exchange in 2007.
$184.00 monthly paid to doctors/regime by the Venezuelan government in addition to the 2.6 million in oil paid to the regime (2005 figure).
$25.00 monthly the salary paid to the doctors in Venezuela by the regime and consequently the value they place on the services provided.
20,000 the number of Cuban doctors and health workers in Venezuela.
Do the math, if you have more zeroes in your calculator than I have, and it doesn’t look like that rosy an economic deal for Venezuela. On the other hand, I guess there is a premium to be paid for having an army of chattel who can be forced to work anywhere in the country under any conditions.