Truths and manipulations around the Reuters FAKE NEWS on the Cuban-Venezuelan Cienfuegos refinery

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December 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos – Translated from Mision Verdad 

CARACAS, Venezuela – Posterization and the fake news brand, Reuters

The publication caused a rapid flight, generating a strong cartelization of national and other international media on the alleged vulnerability of the Venezuelan oil company to maintain its international alliances and businesses.

Reuters has devoted a special effort to discredit the international image of PDVSA (Venezuelan state oil company) in recent years. Its correspondents Alexandra Ulmer, Marianna Párraga and Garish Gupta seek to disqualify Venezuela’s ability to pay and sustainability financial every time the state enters a cycle of debt payment.

In a financial world marked by purely psychological variables such as confidence and expectations, the position of a medium such as Reuters, a privileged source for brokers and institutional investors, can be a determining factor on how to perceive a particular country, business or company. For this reason, the work of Reuters should not be discredited.

In the Reuters article, signed by Marianna Párraga, it is stated that “Venezuela withdrew from an association with Cuba at its Cienfuegos oil refinery and the Caribbean island took full ownership of the plant.”

“Cuba had taken the participation of 49 percent of the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, in the Cienfuegos refinery as payment for the debts in which it said the country incurred. (…) Cuba said that Venezuela owed it for the services professionals, as well as renting tankers,” added a former Venezuelan government official used by Reuters as a source.

Likewise, the newspaper relied on a note from the newspaper Granma to give solidity to its publication, the official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, which comments that the Cienfuegos refinery “operates as a fully Cuban state entity, under the aegis of the Cuban Union. -Oil (Cupet)”. It is worth noting that the Granma note does not mention the alleged transfer of shares by PDVSA that  Reuters claims.

The truths of the case

A source from the Venezuelan oil sector consulted by Misión Verdad, offered a set of information about the case that contradicts the Reuters article.

“The mixed company CUVENPETROL that managed the Cienfuegos refinery was formed from a project that consisted of several phases: refining crude oil for sale, obtaining products for the Venezuelan domestic market as part of the country’s refining circuit (under the same modality that the Island Refinery in Curaçao) and modernize and update the refinery facilities and their conversion scheme, in which PDVSA and Cuba technicians worked together, “he said.

“This project started in 2005 and had the completion date in 2016, the date on which the last modernization phase ended satisfactorily.” When asked about PDVSA’s role in the joint venture, the source added that the objective of the project was always of technical support. Now that it is finalized, Cuba should seek funding to guarantee its development and expansion in the medium term,” he added.

On whether PDVSA had actually ceded its shareholding, he said “that the Cienfuegos refinery worked as a leased facility, whose consideration consisted in the development of the Conversion Media project, with the objective that the refinery process crude oil of different API grades, all once the Venezuelan domestic market benefited from the different products of the refinery.”

That is, the agreement consisted in that while PDVSA was working on the conversion of the plant, the products of the same would serve for internal consumption and external sales of PDVSA, once the Venezuelan state company finished it would also end its participation in the refinery.

In this sense, according to the source consulted, we can not speak of shares ceded to fulfill debt commitments, but of the culmination of a project that since 2005 had the objective of modernizing the Cienfuegos plant in exchange for increasing the amount of derivative products in the Venezuelan domestic market. The participation of PDVSA in the joint venture depended on the phases of that project, its technical support role was satisfactorily closed, leaving benefits for both countries.

Contrary to what the Reuters publication tries to show, the Venezuelan state has not ceded assets that could damage its financial statements or weaken it from the external point of view.

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