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Cuba to exchange doctors for crude oil from Algeria

Oil barrels [File photo]
Oil barrels [File photo]

Algeria is set to receive more doctors from Cuba in return for suppling crude oil in helping to offset a steep decline in oil shipments from Cuba’s key ally Venezuela.

The agreement was signed between the two countries in which Algeria will supply Cuba with oil supplies for three years, according to the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina.

Algeria exported 2.1 million barrels to Cuba last year and will do the amount this year according to an official from Sonatrach, Algeria’s main oil and gas provider.

The Communist-run Island of Cuba has relied heavily on Venezuela for crude supplies in recent years but has experienced a drop in subsidised oil imports from Venezuela following the economic meltdown.

This has had a detrimental effect on Cuba’s economy over the last few years forcing it to ration fuel and electricity.

Read: Algeria doctors’ union extends strikes

Algeria and Cuba have enjoyed a close relationship since Algeria’s war of independence mainly in the medical and education fields. The first Cuban health mission arrived in Algeria in May 1963, a year after independence, with 56 Cuban doctors as part of the countries’ health agreement.

Currently more than 1,000 Cuban medical practitioners work in health fields across Algeria as part of the ongoing agreement.

Algeria suffered from a shortage of medical professionals following the declaration of its independence. Currently it is facing mass strikes by doctors as a result of government’s decision to impose compulsory civil service of 4-5 years on new graduates.

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