Rather than cash the Jamaican Government has announced it intends to pay oil debts it owes to Venezuela in the form of food, medication, and fertilizer.
Jamaica has been accumulating oil debt with Venezuela since 2006 and is taking this opportunity to pay them off in an unconventional, but otherwise reasonable way.
The huge scale barter looks as though it will work for Jamaica due to the massive food shortage going on currently in Venezuela. The shortage is the result of a political and economic crisis as the South American country attempts to figure things out.
This oil for basic products trade will take place in a regional agreement known as PetroCaribe that was signed by Venezuela and 12 other Caribbean countries back in 2005.
The Jamaican Government intends to pay off up to 4 million dollars in debt by the end of the year by trading basic products to Venezuela.
Shortages of food and other basic products are at the heart of Venezuelas current crisis and the acute shortages don’t show signs of improving in the near, or even kind of close future.
Clashes between police and mobs of hungry Venezuelans have led to several deaths during the crisis over this past year. Last month 120,000 Venezuelans fled to neighboring countries, mainly Colombia, in order to purchase food and other basic products. Border controls have been relaxed at certain times in order to give the people of Venezuela some options.
President Maduro’s government recently released a decree that would require all able bodied citizens to take jobs in the food production industry. However some groups such as Amnesty International have claimed this is forced labor on Maduro’s part.
Jamaica lacks a significant pharmaceutical company so it’s still unclear where the medication they intend to give to Venezuela will come from. Most of the details remain relatively vague.