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Surging oil sales to Asia criticized, celebrated


07-22-2014 16:39 BJT

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Venezuelan oil sales to Asia have spiked in recent years. The South American nation is sending more and more exports east, rather than north to the United States. The shift has been both celebrated and criticized at home, as economic conditions continue to worsen in Venezuela.

Oil sales to Asia are surging. Trade deals struck under the late President Hugo Chavez are being felt well beyond his death. For the first time ever, more oil was sent to Asia than to North America last year. As Caracas focuses now on countries like China and India- the United States, Venezuela’s long-standing trade partner, is being increasingly ignored.

Under Chavez, the oil-rich nation moved away from its traditional western allies, as the leftist leader pushed Venezuela towards his plans for "the 21st century Socialism".

Venezuela crude is swapped for loans to finance everything from free housing, to schools, transportation and healthcare.

President Nicolas Maduro has continued and even expanded such deals, pledging to continue the Chavez legacy.

Now that Venezuela is facing financial crisis, many say the country needs to get back to the basics of doing business - not politics.
Many point out, that despite the government’s anti-US rhetoric, it still depends on the States to pay the bills.

US exports still account for almost a third of Venezuelan oil production - making the US Venezuela’s largest client. Even as sales to Asia rise, with Caracas growing economic crisis, many doubt the relationship is likely to end anytime soon.



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