MEXICO CITY, May 1 (Reuters) - A vessel carrying water trucks and equipment bartered by two Mexican companies arrived in Venezuela on Thursday, the second shipment under an oil-for-food agreement signed with the OPEC nation’s government, one of the firms told Reuters.
Mexico’s Libre Abordo and a related firm, Schlager Business Group, last year signed a contract with President Nicolas Maduro’s administration to exchange millions of barrels of Venezuelan oil for corn and water trucks.
The deal, which is the nation’s first oil-for-food pact after the United States sanctioned crisis-stricken Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA in early 2019, is being investigated by the U.S. Treasury and the State Department.
The Mexican firms have so far received over 24 million barrels of Venezuelan crude and fuel, according to internal PDVSA documents. Last month they completed the first delivery of 290 water trucks and parts for those trucks, according to Libre Abordo and vessel tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon.
The second delivery arrived in Venezuela’s La Guaira port on Thursday on the Hong-Kong flagged bulk carrier Chipolbrok Sun. It is expected to discharge 20 water containers and 222 trucks, Libre Abordo told Reuters in a written statement on Friday.
The vessel set sail on March 24 from the Dongjiakou port in China, according to the Eikon data.
Struggling through years of hyperinflation, economic recession and hunger, Venezuela has struggled to afford imports of everything from food to medical supplies. Some non-profit organizations have asked the U.S. government to temporarily suspend punitive measures on the nation. (Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez, writing by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)