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Jan 26, 2015

Petrocaribe Future Uncertain

Caribbean Countries signed on to the Petrocaribe program some ten years ago. The program, which has provided social assistance, may very well see many countries cut off. While Belize’s name hasn’t been called for that, we have been cut off from the Premium fuel from Venezuela. Back in December, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made that announcement and said that to balance the impact; certain government vehicles would be using Regular. Back then PM Barrow said that while the cut only represented fifteen percent of the total volume, G.O.B. was prepared to deal with changes.  But is it the end of Venezuela subsidized oil for CARICOM countries? Today, U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, met with Caribbean leaders in the first ever Caribbean Energy Security Summit in Washington. Belize’s Minister of Energy, Joy Grant, was at the discussions with VP Biden and other U.S. Officials, as well as representatives of the European Union, U.N, World Bank and IADB. The purpose of the summit, as was widely talked about, was to explore ways to help Caribbean nations find and increase use of other alternative energy sources, which will help to lessen the almost complete dependence on oil that has made energy expensive in the region and created the opening for Venezuela in the first place. Officials of the VP’s office were quoted as saying that the summit will, by way of the discussions, offer technical assistance, help to obtain financing and provide advice on regulatory changes that can attract investment. We’ll have more on the summit coming up in Caribbean News Line. 

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