Maduro Refuses Non-Cash Payments from Dragon Deal

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‘We do not accept it. We will go on our way’ – Venezuela President Nicholas Maduro


By Prior Beharry

VENEZUELA President Nicholas Maduro is unhappy that his country will not receive any cash payments from the Dragon field gas deal with Trinidad and Tobago and other countries that have a licence to get crude oil from the South American country.

In a broadcast on Thursday, Maduro described this arrangement as “colonialism.”


He said, “They tell a country it has permission to negotiate with Venezuela, but it cannot pay in dollars or any form of cash. It must pay with food or products.”

The Biden administration authrorised US and European firms to resume taking crude oil from Venezuela on the condition that no cash be paid to that country.

And on January 24, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) gave his country a licence to get gas from the Dragon gas field in Venezuela waters between the border of the two countries.

The Dragon field holds about 4.2 trillion cubic feet of reserves and project will see Shell as the operator sending the gas back to T&T where it will be turned into exportable liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaking at a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre on January 24 on the Dragon gas field licence with Venezuela

AZP News had asked Dr Rowley about the non-cash payments and he said that was nothing new as there were other options to make payments. He said, “We have done that before. So we buy the gas and we pay for it in a variety of ways.”

In the past, T&T had provided Venezuela with US$50 million in humanitarian goods, he said.

But, Maduro said the arrangement was a joke.

He said, “It is a joke to sovereign countries. I call sovereign countries and governments in America and the Caribbean to denounce this colonial model. We do not accept it. We will go on our way.”


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