.... For the last decade, Venezuela's oil has helped fuel Cuba's
economy, providing 60 percent of the communist-ruled island's demands.
In exchange, Cuba sends about 30,000 doctors to Venezuela, according to an analysis by
Pavel Vidal, a former official at Cuba's central bank and now an
economics professor at the Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia. The commercial relationship with leftist Venezuela accounts for 40 percent of Cuba's trade—or 18 percent of Cuba's gross domestic product,
Vidal said. If Venezuela were to cut Cuba loose, completely or
partially, it could cause Cuba's economy to contract anywhere from 4
percent to 7.7 percent....
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