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Venezuelan Foreign Minister and PM Barrow discussed PetroCaribe

Earlier in the month, we told you about the visit of Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza here in Belize. Arreaza met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to discuss matters of mutual interest. According to Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, matters of mutual interest included PetroCaribe.

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The Venezuelans I believe are doing the rounds in Caribbean and Central America, they stopped in Belize briefly maybe a couple hours; I was not part of the meeting but I heard that part of which was to assure the colleagues in the region including Belize that Petro Caribe will still be alive and that they would continue the program as best they can give the sanctions that the US has imposed on them. We never got premium from Venezuela, we used to get the other products which are diesel, regular some kerosene. We are getting much-reduced quantities from them now, the inability on their part, to supply our needs but what they can supply we buy from them or we get on credit I should say. I’m guessing that it will be about $3 million dollars or so a month, it’s about a third of what we used to get from them. The subject really you had the willingness the question is the ability. Their ability to produce, they have reduced capacity to produce and also capacity to trade because their sanctions and payments of US dollars and other things like that is giving them some difficulty. They can’t receive, we can’t transact in US dollars anymore. We do buy from other sources the United States, Curacao and other places. Remember the prices vary from day to day tied to the international prices; Petro Caribe was never about a price, it was about the financing so the prices we got from Venezuela were international prices all along.”

During his tour, Arreaza has explained the ramifications of U.S. imposed attacks and sanctions against Venezuela, as well as attempts to block greater integration in the region.