Jamaica to retire $3 billion in oil debt to Venezuela thanks to bond sales, negotiated deal

MarketsAssociated Press

Jamaica says it has forged a deal to retire $3 billion in oil debts to Venezuela thanks to bond sales.

The Caribbean island has sold roughly $2 billion in bonds to pay down the debt it accumulated through Petrocaribe. That's a Venezuelan program that provides fuel to countries at market prices but under generous credit terms.

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Officials say a negotiated settlement will dismiss $3 billion in long-term debt in exchange for $1.5 billion. It was not immediately clear Friday if Jamaica's deal will retire all of its Petrocaribe debt.

Jamaica's settlement is similar to one the Dominican Republic negotiated with Venezuela earlier this year. That Caribbean country dismissed $4 billion in Petrocaribe debt in exchange for $2 billion.

IMF Communications Director Gerry Rice says the organization supports Jamaica's debt buyback.