[www.inewsguyana.com] – Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Delcy Rodríguez and Minister of Petroleum and Mining, Asdrúbal Chávez have reaffirmed their country’s commitment to the PetroCaribe deal during the 15th Meeting of the Energy Ministerial Council of PetroCaribe.
They indicated that the energy supply agreement with the Caribbean would continue despite dwindling international crude oil prices. Guyana’s Finance Minister Winston Jordan is currently in Venezuela representing Guyana at the summit.
PetroCaribe is intended to promote trade amongst member countries, and Guyana has been supplying rice to Venezuela under the initiative. Under the current trade agreement, Guyana is expected to supply 210,000 tons of paddy and polished rice annually to Venezuela. The value of this supply amounts to US$130 million
The meeting was held on the occasion of the 10 years of the regional energy agreement through which Venezuela sells its oil under preferential terms to the rest of the members of the CARICOM trade bloc.
“PetroCaribe has brought more infrastructure, more electricity, more health, more food, and more education” to the countries of a region that would collapse without the support of the oil alliance, something that even the more relentless enemies of real integration acknowledge,” Venezuela’s Minister Chávez said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Rodríguez criticized the efforts undertaken by the government of the United States, which were made official in Washington on January 26, to make the Caribbean adopt a new energy paradigm based on private investment, with a view to diversifying energy sources and reducing dependence from the Venezuelan oil program.
She stressed that PetroCaribe, as an energy cooperation mechanism, has helped reducing asymmetries in the region.
Representatives of each country on Monday signed a commitment act to consolidate the Economic Zone of the regional bloc, in order to increase and foster trade and production among the members. [Extracted and modified from El Universal]