BBC Caribbean News in Brief

A Puerto Rican state bank is seeking $5 billion from the US Federal Reserve to help the island withstand the economic crisis.

The vice president of the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico says the loan would be used to boost private-sector businesses and diversify the economy with a focus on exports.

William Lockwood says the money would also reduce costs for state power and utility companies.

He also requested funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Programme, which provides federal bailout money.

The Puerto Rico government faces a $3.2 billion deficit.

Chavez: Russia welcome to use base

The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has confirmed that he has offered Russia the use of an airfield off his country’s Caribbean coast for its strategic long-range bombers.

Mr Chavez said however that there’d been no discussions on building any permanent military bases for Russia on Venezuelan territory.

The comments came a day after a senior Russian air force general first mentioned the Venezuelan offer in an interview with a Russian news agency.

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