The Petro Caribe Energy Cooperation Agreement Venezuela has with Dominica and other Caribbean countries has been described by Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit as the lifeblood of many countries in the region.
“I can say without any fear or contradiction that the Petro Caribe agreement is the lifeblood of many countries in the Caribbean and Latin America,” the prime minister told an official ceremony observing the pact’s 7th anniversary on Wednesday.
According to PM Skerrit, the agreement has emerged as one helping prop up some Caribbean nations.
“I know of countries today because of the global crisis, are using the funds from Petro Caribe to pay the salaries of public officers in these countries. I know of countries today that are using the resources to make their debt payment that they are unable to meet on a monthly basis,” he told the function.
The prime minister said Dominica and the other regional states implementing the arrangement would have been worse off without it.
He also suggested that the Petro Caribe agreement was providing Dominica with energy security and energy independence.
PDV Caribe Dominica, the local joint venture petroleum company established here under the arrangement, supplies diesel, gasoline and LPG – what’s known locally as cooking gas.
General Manager Guillermo Lozza believes that the Petro Caribe agreement has proved to be “most effective” in Dominica, providing energy security and social economic development.
He indicated that to date the company had imported from Venezuela, 600,000 barrels of petroleum products valued at an estimated US$60 million.
And Venezuelan Ambassador Carmen Martinez de Grijalva listed some of the projects undertaken in Dominica under the Petro Caribe pact, including the construction of houses, the Salibia Primary School, the Rosalie/Petite Soufriere Road, and airport extension works at the Melville Hall Airport.
Prime Minister Skerrit did not shy away from making it clear that he hoped Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez would remain in office, given his commitment to assisting Dominica and the rest of the region.
The prime minister said he hoped Chavez would be re-elected when the Latin American country holds upcoming general elections.
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