Venezuela pays part of $100 million owed to Uruguayan dairy farmers

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during the launch of the presidential commission for the truth, justice and reparation of victims in Caracas, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello/Files

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Crisis-stricken Venezuela on Friday paid $30 million of over $100 million in debt it owes Uruguayan dairy farmers, the government of Uruguay said. In July, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro sealed a multi-million-dollar food import deal with his Uruguayan counterpart to combat shortages ahead of Venezuela's legislative elections. But instead of paying the $267 million as agreed, Maduro's government deposited in November under a fifth of that amount, according to Uruguay's government.[nL1N13J2AI] "An important payment from Venezuela has arrived, of around $30 million, which will pay what is owed to small dairy producers" and also go towards paying what is owed dairy-products exporter Conaprole, said Uruguayan government official Enzo Benech. (Reporting by Malena Castaldi; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by James Dalgleish)