UPDATE 3-Venezuela vows to pay $3 bln bond, says ready for oil volatility
* Finance Minister says PDVSA 2014 bond to be serviced
* Venezuela can weather oil price swings, Marco says
* Oil slide comes at bad time for cash-strapped OPEC country (Adds fiscal deficit figure paragraph 16)
By Corina Pons
CARACAS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Venezuela's Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco said on Tuesday the OPEC nation was "fully prepared" to cope with price volatility on the global oil market and would honor a $3 billion bond payment due next week.
The tumble in crude oil prices on international markets to around $85 a barrel comes at a bad time for cash-squeezed Venezuela as it faces a heavy debt repayment schedule and an economy believed to be in recession.
Venezuela depends on oil for 96 percent of its hard currency revenues, so market fears have grown over its ability to service its major debt payments, though President Nicolas Maduro's government has time and again ruled out a default.
Presenting the 2015 budget bill to the National Assembly, Marco reiterated Venezuela would have no problem paying the upcoming bond and all future debt.
"Venezuela maintains and will maintain an impeccable record in paying its sovereign debt. The government has the seriousness, will and financial capacity to honor its commitments," he said to applause in the National Assembly where the ruling Socialist Party has a majority. Continuación...