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Venezuela calls on OPEC to subsidize oil for poor

Hugo Chavez wants OPEC to absorb costs of oil import bills of world’s 50 poorest countries.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on the OPEC cartel to absorb the costs of the oil import bills of the world’s 50 poorest countries, predicting that the price of crude is “going to continue rising.” “OPEC, or some of its members, should take the responsibility to supply these countries through special mechanisms, subsidies, donations, agreements. It is not going to make us any richer or poorer,” he said at a meeting of the non-aligned movement at Isla Margarita on Venezuela’s northern coast.

Chavez said he thought the price of crude, which hit a new record over $146 a barrel in London trading on Thursday, would “continue to rise, and not because (oil exporters) want it to; it is not our fault.” But, he said, “We should not allow the price of a barrel to fall heavily on poor countries.”

Chavez repeated his earlier accusations that the climb of oil prices rise past 100 dollars is to be blamed on tensions fomented by the United States with Iraq, Iran and Venezuela. But he also blamed the “exhaustion” of world petroleum reserves and high demand in developed countries. (Tehran Times)