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Venezuela proposed to cooperate in the transference of technology in the energy sector, and to eliminate immediately all of the non-tariff-related barriers for imports from Cuba. It will also cooperate in the financing of infrastructure and production projects, including energy, the electricity industry, road building and paving, development of ports, waterways and sewage systems, agricultural industry, and services. This agreement includes tax exemptions on all investments by the state and by mixed Cuban-Venezuelan companies in the country during the period of recovery of the investments (prior to the "break even"point). It also establishes tax incentives to projects of strategic interest for the economy Furthermore, it makes its air and sea travel infrastructure available to Cuba, on a preferential basis, in order to support Cuba’s economic and social development plans. Likewise, Cuba will give the ships under the Venezuelan flag the same treatment given to those of Cuba, in all their operations in Cuban ports.

Cuba will also grant Venezuelan airlines the same rights granted to its own airlines, regarding passenger transportation to and from Cuba, as well as the use air transportation facilities in Cuban territory. On the energy issue, the agreement establishes that "the price of the oil exported from Venezuela to Cuba shall be fixed according to that of the international market, as established by the provisions of the current Caracas agreement between both countries". Nevertheless, it points out that "considering the traditional volatility of oil prices, which has caused the price of Venezuelan oil to drop below 12 U$, Cuba guarantees a price not lower than 27 U$ per barrel, always in conformity with the agreements Venezuela subscribes within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)".

In the educational area, Cuba offers 2,000 higher education scholarships a year for Venezuelan students in any area that might be of interest to Venezuela, including scientific investigation. This assistance also covers interchange in educational methods and programs of interest for Venezuela.

Cuba makes 15,000 of its professionals in the field of medicine (who are now participating in the Barrio Adentro medicare program for the impoverished sectors of the country) available for the Bolivarian University, in order to train as many future doctors and health specialists Venezuela may need, which could be tens of thousands within the next ten years. Imports of goods and services from Cuba could be paid for with Venezuelan products, in bolívares or in any other mutually accepted currency. The integral health services offered by Cuba to the population attended by the Barrio Adentro Mission, will be granted in highly preferential conditions and economic terms.

Finally, Cuba will facilitate the consolidation of multi-destination touristic products from Venezuela without tax charges or any other type of restriction.

Published in Quantum N.45