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US: Don't get too close

NASSAU — A top official at the US Embassy is cautioning The Bahamas on accelerating its economic ties with Venezuela in an effort to procure cheaper oil.

Alex Sokoloff, political and economics officer in Nassau, noted that there is “no such thing as cheaper oil”.

He said oil is a commodity, and as such it will sell for whatever the market is demanding.

The political and economics officer at the US Embassy was responding to consistent comments from the chairman of Bahamas Electricity Corporation Leslie Miller on his intention to court Venezuela and broker more favorable terms for oil.

Miller has highlighted the benefit of “long-term arrangements” to improve the efficiency of the system and fix the country’s costs.

Venezuela’s membership in international organisations, such as the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, prevents the South American nation from altering the market price.

Instead, a more likely scenario is either a long-term credit burden or other political strings attached to any deal, Sokoloff noted.

“There might be a discount, but it’s not cheaper, per se – it’s a loan – or there are strings attached,” Sokoloff told Guardian Business. “I would say beware of Greeks bearing gifts. There is a reason they are offering it. It is because there are strings attached, or a longer term benefit to them.”

Sokoloff is one of several US officials leading a Bahamian delegation in Orlando this week for Solar Power International, one of the largest events of its kind in the world. (Nassau Guardian)

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