Latin American Program in the News: Ahmadinejad's hug and the Future of Chavez's Alliance
By Eduardo J. Gómez, CNN
With Chávez gone, however, there may be no one left who has the clout to keep financing this alliance. Venezuela is Alba's largest financier, contributing millions in aid to its members as well as oil at low prices. But Venezuelans may believe that with ongoing poverty and inequality, their country's needs are more important than those of Chávez's small club of nations.
This situation worries Alba members. According to Cynthia Arnson of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, while Bolivia and Ecuador are independently wealthy and not financially dependent on Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are.
Cuba receives roughly 100,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil a day, while Venezuela accounted for $8.3 billion of Cuba's $20 billion in foreign trade in 2011. Chávez also paid approximately $6 billion annually for 40,000 Cuban doctors and nurses, according to Reuters.
To read the complete original article, please click here.