Venezuela President Hugo Chavez signed a pact with a group of predominately leftist mayors in Nicaragua on Tuesday to provide their communities with cheap oil.

Under the accord, Venezuela will supply oil to the Nicaraguan towns at favorable terms.

While signing the agreement with the mayors at Venezuela's presidential palace, Mr. Chavez also threw his weight behind leftist candidate and Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in the upcoming Nicaraguan presidential election.

The oil deal is similar to ones Mr. Chavez has signed with other Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Mr. Chavez indicated Tuesday that the Nicaraguan pact is part of a larger agenda to provide an alternative to trade agreements with the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.