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Feb 18, 2015

Will Belize Be Affected By Petrocaribe Quagmire?

In spite of its existing economic woes, Venezuela is yet to pull the plug on the Petrocaribe initiative.  The last shipment of premium fuel to Belize arrived in country in late January and delivery has since been put on hold indefinitely.  While the Barrow administration has borrowed an estimated two hundred and forty million dollars through the program for various projects, including infrastructure development, the Venezuelan government, according to Perez Marcano, is scaling back on its lending.  The recent discovery of a plot to overthrow the government of Nicolas Maduro has brought into sharp focus the possibility of terminating Petrocaribe, should a coup d’état become reality.

 

Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano

Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano, Venezuelan Ambassador to Belize

“Roll, roll, roll… We want to quit the giving away of money as they are saying in Belize, roll it!  In case the opposition wins by whatever means not only will it affect the congress of Venezuela but also our political [ties] for solidarity and cooperation with our brothers of the Caribbean, including the Petrocaribe program.  And I said it yesterday to a government official, the first victim of a coup attempt would be Petrocaribe.  It won’t be revised or studied.  The first thing that a government that wants to do a coup attempt is to eliminate the decisions on international cooperation agreements that have been signed by that have been signed by President Nicolas Maduro and the most affected would be Petrocaribe.  And I would ask you, would that have a consequence on Belize and the rest of the Caribbean?  Definitely yes.  We say that with humility.  With the eighteen countries of Petrocaribe the possibility of the petroleum minister on the condition of payment of one percent for twenty years that forms part of the agreement, it would affect the economy of this country.”

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