Menu

WORLD

'Sigh of relief' in Cuba as ally and oil benefactor Hugo Chavez wins reelection in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's re-election is welcome news in Cuba, which relies on the South American nation for a big chunk of its economy through preferential oil shipments.

According to government statistics, Cuba and Venezuela did some $6 billion in trade last year, mostly Cuban imports of oil and derivatives. That's about 40 percent of all Cuban trade in commercial goods.

Chavez's opponent Henrique Capriles had promised if elected to change a relationship he described as financing Cuba's political model.

Longtime Cuba analyst Philip Peters said Monday that Cuban President Raul Castro is surely breathing a "sigh of relief" at Chavez's 10-point victory.

Havana resident Rosa Hernandez called the news "a joy" for Cubans.