It hasn’t been an easy week for Nicolas Maduro here at home, so he decided to go back to his old hobby for a spot of foreign affairs. On the agenda: a visit to our Caribbean neighbors, Trinidad and Tobago.
Heading a delegation of ninety-five, Maduro met with the T&T Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (who, btw, is facing a political crisis herself) and several of her Ministers. What for? To try to
salvage “define” the future of PetroCaribe.
Maduro was received by protesting Venezuelans who live on the islands, but he also got a pep-rally from a local leftie political party.
The two countries signed multiple agreements in education, transportation, trade and of course, energy. Matter of fact, PM Persad-Bissessar personally proposed one of those revolutionary trueque deals chavistas get all hot-under-the-collar over: oil for toilet paper.
“The concept of commodity sharing is simple -– the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will purchase goods identified by the Government of Venezuela from T&T’s manufacturers, such as tissue paper, gasoline, and parts for machinery,” Persad-Bissessar said…
…Tissue paper and other goods “would then be traded for commodities that are needed for our industries –- in particular bitumen and crude oil -– which can be supplied by Venezuela,” she said, adding that “this proposal is at an planning stages, and we recognize that a monitoring mechanism would be key to its success.”
Few things seemed to make Hugo Chávez happier than the 21st-Century-Pleistocene mashup that is a Diplomatic Barter Deal, PetroCaribe is full of them. But oil-for-TP?
El chiste se cuenta solo…