Spanish – A Cuban vessel arrived in Venezuela to allegedly provide the island gasoline that has just arrived from Iran.
El buque Petion, que zarpó desde Cuba, atracó la mañana de este lunes en la refinería El Palito en el estado Carabobo. Se presume que el buque iraní Fortune haga un traspaso de combustible al tanquero que regresará a Matanzas #25May https://t.co/d8toMpKiXT
— NTN24 Venezuela (@NTN24ve) May 25, 2020
According to the Marine Traffic portal, this is the Petion ship, which sails under the Panamanian flag and departed from Cuba on May 21. It arrived this Monday morning in Venezuela and docked at the El Palito refinery in the state of Carabobo.
According to Diario de Cuba, “The Petion sails under the Panamanian flag. Its owner is Trocana World INC, and its operator is Caroil Transport Marine LTD. Both companies are controlled by Guillermo Faustino Rodríguez López-Callejas, brother of Brigadier General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, the powerful former son-in-law of Raúl Castro, who runs the Cuban military business conglomerate (GAESA).”
It seems that the Iranian ship Fortune will transfer fuel to Cuban tankers since it is customary to supply the island with gasoline.
A fleet of five ships, the first of which has already arrived in Venezuela, is transporting 1.5 million barrels of gasoline from Iran to supposedly alleviate the shortage in the oil-rich country. The gasoline has not yet been distributed in Venezuelan territory, and the Venezuelan people have not accessed it, but it will also end up in Cuba.
“The ships of our ally, the Islamic Republic of Iran, are now in our exclusive economic zone,” Tareck El Aissami, the new Venezuelan oil minister who has been sanctioned by the United States and accused of “narco-terrorism,” celebrated on Twitter.
The 200 million liters of gasoline, brought by the Iranian freighters, was paid for in advance with nine tons of gold equivalent to 500 million dollars in the market. This gold was plundered from the vaults of the Central Bank of Venezuela.
But that amount of imported gasoline would only be enough for about five weeks of internal consumption of 350,000 barrels a day. The duration will be even shorter if it is sent to Cuba.
It is not surprising that the Petion vessel is carrying gasoline paid for by Venezuela. Earlier in March, when the world was already amid the coronavirus quarantine, and there was no fuel at the service stations in Venezuela, Maduro sent loaded tankers to Cuba.
According to journalist Casto Ocando, the PDVSA report indicates that “the shipments of fuel given by Maduro to Cuba amidst the Venezuelan mega-crisis, arrived at the following ports: Cienfuegos, Havana, and Santiago de Cuba.”
Cuba is one of the main allies of Venezuela. The island used to receive about 100,000 barrels of oil from Venezuela every day through various cooperation agreements. Cuba, in turn, sent doctors, military, and intelligence officials in exchange for Maduro’s oil.