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Undoing Chavez’s $50 Billion of Oil Giveaways Eases Default Risk

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Debt investors are finding a little comfort in Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s decision to quietly dismantle a pet program of his late predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

As sinking crude prices stoke concern that Venezuela will run out of money, Maduro has cut sales of cheap oil to allies to about half what they were in 2012, according to Barclays Plc. Since 2005, Venezuela has allowed countries from Nicaragua to Jamaica to fund shipments at below-market rates, using 25-year loans with annual interest rates of 1 percent and trades of everything from rice to jeans.