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Chavez proposes OPEC sell oil cheaper to poor countries

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez proposed OPEC should come up with a plan to sell oil to poor countries at dramatically lower prices than those paid by wealthy nations.

Chavez said late Tuesday that he will ask members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries at a summit in Saudi Arabia this weekend to consider a plan to aid poor countries struggling with rising oil prices.

"I would sell oil to a rich country at US$100 (€68.50), and to a poor country perhaps at US$20 (€14)" a barrel, Chavez said. "That breaks with the schemes of capitalism. ... OPEC could do it, although there are hard positions on it, but I'm taking the issue to discuss it."

He said Venezuela is setting an example by selling oil under preferential credit terms to various Latin American and Caribbean countries. But he suggested that with world crude prices near record levels, oil producers all have a moral obligation to help the neediest countries with below-market prices.

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