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Apr 14, 2015

Will Petrocaribe Be Affected by U.S. Interest in Regional Energy Investment?

Wilfred Elrington

As we reported in Monday’s newscast, an energy summit was held in Washington earlier this year and the U.S. is trying to move its energy influence back into the Caribbean. Last week, before his arrival at the seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama, U.S. President, Barack Obama made the first presidential trip to Jamaica since Ronald Reagan’s 1982 visit. Obama met with government leaders and young influencers for bilateral talks and economic discussions. The trip wasn’t classified as an official visit and the White House referred to it as a little more than a goodwill excursion in which President Obama engaged in a bit of touristic activities. But during his visit to Jamaica and then again in Panama, the issue of Venezuela’s Petrocaribe and the U.S. wanting to invest in the region came up. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, says that there is no animosity between the U.S. and Venezuela.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“We in Belize made reference to the fact that we were so pleased and grateful to the Venezuelans for the Petrocaribe program and that certainly was the sentiment that was expressed by all the participants who spoke about it. The issue with respect to the provision by the United States of liquid gas to the region was also discussed and it did not seem to be creating any conflict between what we are getting from Venezuela and in fact what the United States in proposing. The major issue is that the United States seems to be resolved to help us to be able to get gas, energy at a cheaper cost. The cost now for energy is prohibitive and so now they are resolved given their new bonanza of gas to try to help the region to bring down the cost of gas and of course it is the same thing that we are doing with Petrocaribe. So there is no inconsistency there; there is no animosity between the two at all, at all, at all.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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