Thu Aug 15.
Venezuelan Supreme Court considering case against oil treaty with Cuba
CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela's Supreme Court is considering a case
questioning the legality of an oil assistance pact with Cuba.
The Supreme Court gave National Assembly president Willian Lara 15 days to
show that President Hugo Chavez's government "fulfilled legal requirements"
before signing the pact in October 2000, a court statement said Thursday.
Opposition politicians who filed the case contend the pact is illegal because it
wasn't approved by Congress.
Under the agreement, Venezuelan state oil monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela
sells 53,000 barrels per day of crude oil to Cuba under preferential financial
PDVSA executives suspended shipments during an April coup that briefly
ousted Chavez because Cuba owed dlrs 142 million. After Chavez regained power,
PDVSA President Ali Rodriguez ordered the shipments renewed and said the loan
had been refinanced.
Cuban President Fidel Castro has been among Chavez's strongest allies.
PDVSA provides one-third of Cuba's oil imports.
Florida National Guard Unit To Deploy To Cuba
Fri Aug 16,10:21 AM ET
Members of the 153rd Finance Battalion here are scheduled to begin a
six-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Sunday morning.
As a part of Joint Task Force 160, the Florida National Guard soldiers will
provide budgeting, accounting, pay, travel, and finance for the soldiers,
sailors, airmen and Marines who are already stationed at Guantanamo Bay in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The soldiers of the 153rd Finance Battalion are trained to provide the same
support as active duty finance battalions and will be placed on federal active
duty orders for this tour of duty.
The 153rd also participated in a two-week annual training this summer at
Fort Stewart, Ga., and Golden Eagle 2002 at Fort Hood, Texas.