Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, has given Paraguay a 10-day deadline to pay a $287m debt for crudes sales dating back to 2009. However, Felipe Oddone, communications director for Paraguayan President, Horacio Cartes, says his country would, for now, only be able to pay 50% of the debt, Daily Mail reported.
The demand comes shortly after Paraguay asked to convene a meeting of foreign ministers in the South American Mercosur trade group to examine if Venezuela had failed to comply with democratic norms laid out in the organization’s charter, Channel New Asia added.
On his side, Paraguay’s state-run oil firm Petropar President, Eddie Jara, told local media that he received a letter from PDVSA demanding the entire debt payment “in impulsive and unfriendly terms.” He also said that according to Petropar’s figures, the debt is only $273m.
Venezuela, a nation of about 30m people, is reeling from food shortages, the world’s highest inflation, long lines for basic goods, and alarming violent crime, among other woes.