Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, had high praises for President of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro, who he said was quick to offer assistance to the island in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika.
Maduro arrived on the island on Wednesday afternoon for an official visit and to symbolically hand over 300 petrocasas to those affected by the storm.
Skerrit said he did not have to call Maduro, who he described as a ‘hermano’ and ‘companero,’ to ask for assistance but the Venezuelan President took on his own initiative to assist.
“From the moment the storm impacted upon us, President Maduro mobilized the Venezuelan people immediately,” he said. “He did not wait for me to call him or for me to write to him to indicate to the Venezuelan government and people that the true friendship of Venezuela will be manifested in his response to Dominica’s disaster and for this we want to thank you and the people of Venezuela.”
He added, “I want to say publicly, as Prime Minister of this country, I did not ask President Maduro for 300 homes. I did not ask him for three homes, I did not ask him for 30 homes. He has taken a decision on the behalf of his people to offer this hand of friendship and generosity to our people. And for us it is a very emotional thing because we understand the challenges which Venezuela is undergoing at present.”
Skerrit said Maduro’s gesture falls in line with the thinking of the founder of ALBA, Hugo Chavez, who he described as “our dear commander,” who “taught the Venezuelan people that is not giving from the largest that you have but is to give from the little that you have.”
“And I think that is the true spirit that manifested itself in the offer of 300 homes to Dominica by Presdent Maduro ,” he said.