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Chavez expands Venezuelan investment in Cuba

Cuba and Venezuela inked 14 agreements Saturday to broaden cooperation between the two countries, the Prensa Latina (PL) news agency reported.

The accords were signed during Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s visit to Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city in the country, the PL said. Chavez signed 14 agreements Saturday in Santiago with Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro to warp up his four-day visit to the country. According to the agreements, Cuba and Venezuela will promote cooperation in such fields as chemistry, petrochemistry, agriculture, fishery and food industry. Venezuela will also provide funds for helping Cuba build a 175-megawatt thermal-power plant in the Holguin province, repair Havana’s electricity grid and purchase two ships, said the report. Venezuela and Cuba have signed more than $7 billion in deals this year, Cuban daily Granma quoted Vice President Carlos Lage as saying.

Chavez arrived in Havana Wednesday to attend the summit of PetroCaribe in the south central Cuban city of Cienfuegos. The PetroCaribe was initiated by Venezuela in 2005 to supply oil to its Caribbean neighbors at preferential prices. He is expected to end his visit to Cuba and return home late Saturday, the PL said. During his visit, Chavez met with the 81-year-old ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro (