Chavez's Illness Puts $7 Billion Worth of Caribbean Oil Funding at Risk

Oil subsidies help support Cuba and keep inflation in check


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's battle with cancer threatens $7 billion of subsidized oil exports that help prop up Cuba's economy and contain inflation in Caribbean nations fromJamaica to the Bahamas.

Chavez, hospitalized in Havana after a fourth operation, sent Cuba $3.6 billion of oil in 2011 through the Petrocaribe program that serves 70 million people across Central America and the Caribbean. Cuba failed to make discoveries in the first offshore drilling effort since 2004 as Repsol SA, Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and Petroleos de Venezuela SA reported dry wells.