Venezuela, Guyana to talk about Petrocaribe

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro met Saturday with Guyana's leader during a one-day visit to talk about economic and political issues.

Maduro was expected to talk with Guyana president Donald Ramotar about Venezuela's Petrocaribe program, which allows countries to pay for oil imports with local commodities such as rice and bananas.

The leaders were expected to review an eight-year-old Petrocaribe agreement that allows Guyana to buy some 5,000 barrels of oil from Venezuela in exchange for commodities such as white rice.

Finance Minister Ashni Singh said Guyana hopes to extend the agreement with Venezuela.

The leaders also are expected to talk about a longstanding territorial dispute over the mineral-rich Essequibo region, as well as offshore areas believed to contain oil and natural gas deposits.

Since the late 1940s, Venezuela has claimed two-third of Guyana's western Essequibo region, site of several oil explorations and of multiple gold, diamond and timber investments.

This is Maduro's first trip to Guyana as president.

His visit comes after the conclusion of an annual UNASUR summit in nearby Suriname.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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