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August 1, 2014

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Venezuelan opposition leader wants to halt Cuba oil shipments

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles says he would stop trading oil to Cuba for services such as Cuban doctors providing medical care for Venezuela's poor.

Capriles says he opposes selling petroleum to Cuba under preferential terms because it doesn't benefit Venezuela.

Former President Hugo Chavez forged close ties with Fidel and Raul Castro in Cuba, and he provided the island with more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day on beneficial terms.

During a speech Monday, Capriles said that if he becomes president, in his words, "not another drop of oil will go toward financing the government of the Castros."

Capriles is campaigning against Chavez's chosen successor ahead of a crucial April 14 presidential election. A poll released Monday says government candidate Nicolas Maduro leads Capriles by 14 percentage points.

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