Mexico Denies Energy ‘Donations’ to Cuba but Mum on Financial Details

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Mexico has not provided its ally Cuba with any energy donations, a senior official said on Monday, even as Mexican oil exports to the communist-run Caribbean island have risen dramatically this year.

Last year, Mexico did provide Cuba oil exports that it described at the time as humanitarian assistance.

The head of state-owned oil company Pemex, officially known as Petroleos Mexicanos, told Mexican lawmakers that the firm has not given away any oil to Cuba or any other foreign nation, but he also did not disclose the financial terms for the shipments to Havana.

“Petroleos Mexicanos has not made any fuel donations to any foreign government,” said Romero immediately after a lawmaker asserted that potential oil donations to Cuba could provoke sanctions against Mexico.

So far this year, Mexico has exported 2.8 million barrels of oil to Cuba, significantly more than the two cargos shipped to the island last year, according to company data.

According to a Reuters report in August, Cuba has begun using its own tankers to ramp up crude imports from Mexico, which in the second quarter surpassed Russia as a key oil provider to the island.

Cuba has been saddled with harsh U.S. economic sanctions plus a steady reduction in oil imports from Venezuela, for years its main supplier.

Source : Reuters