Belize Eyes Debt Repayment to Venezuela Pending Eased US Sanctions
Belize may be able to pay off its debt to Venezuela soon pending the ease of US sanctions. The Venezuela debt was to be paid off with monies from the Blue Bond Agreement, but due to the sanctions placed on the South American country by the United States, getting the payment deposited was impossible. Recently, the United States brokered a deal with Venezuela that saw the ease in some of the sanctions. In speaking with Prime Minister Briceno, we asked him if we will now be able to pay off that debt..
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “When the superbond has been paid off and you have up to the end of December I think November of this year for those that have not collected and Venezuela because of the sanctions they have not collected as yet. But if they cannot collect by the end of the month then that monies will go towards the payment of the Blue Bond. That does not mean that we will not have a debt to Venezuela. We have assured Venezuela that we will make sure that whenever it can be done that we will pay them. So that’s still not fully worked out. We hope that before then it can be sorted out and if not well we still have that commitment to Venezuela that when the time comes that they can be paid legally once the sanctions are lifted that we are going to abide by our commitment to them.”
Prime Minister Briceno had traveled to Venezuela in November 2022 where he negotiated the country’s debt to less than a half billion dollars. At the time of his visit, Belize had owed Venezuela close to one billion dollars under the PetroCaribe program. After negotiations, the debt was reduced by an estimated three hundred million dollars.