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Apr 29, 2015

Does Petrocaribe Cover Health and Education Too?

Dean Barrow

As you can see, it’s a long list of projects which span the country, and it’s mainly infrastructure – from sporting complexes to the City Centre to million dollar roundabouts and road projects. It fairly boggles the mind. But we couldn’t find any mention of any major projects in areas like health or education. The only projects we could find in education were the CXC program, the tablet giveaway and a back to school program – and less was spent on those than on Christmas and Mother’s Day cheer programs. Since Petrocaribe is all about poverty alleviation, you’d expect sustained attention on areas like health and education. So today we asked what we thought was a valid question, even if it wasn’t exactly a popular one.

 

Mike Rudon

“In between, you are talking education, but I also mentioned health. In between 2012 and today, there is no….you’ve spoken a lot about infrastructure; a lot of streets, a lot of sporting complexes…”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well Mike, look man, if you want to say that you would want us state our priorities now; there is no doubt that we’ve spent on education. But that the bulk of the spending has taken place with respect to road infrastructure; that is true and we make no apologies for that. You can’t stimulate the economy, you can’t create employment in any greater way than by doing road infrastructure. But we are open to receiving suggestions as to additional priorities people would want to see the monies spent on. But we can’t spend the money on additional priorities if there is no monies to spend. And the people that your media house, in particular, has been promoting and empowering and facilitating, want to stop the spending of the money completely. That is what is not going to happen.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Okay sir, in terms of health, is there going to be any building. We’ve seen a situation recently where the Western Regional Hospital was overrun with rats in the storage room where food…”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I have a statement on that that the minister or the C.E.O. sent which I can perhaps distribute afterwards.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Sir but those things point to a chronic lack of resources…”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Yo want we build wah hospital?”

 

Mike Rudon

“Please…or something…”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“…then we will build a hospital out of Petrocaribe.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Finally, just for clarification. So at this point, there has been no building in health; nothing in health coming from Petrocaribe?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Sir, sir, I read for you as the line item under uses of funds. I told you in addition you can go to the budget book and you can see how much is the capital two and exactly for what. Please assist me by examining the reference documents and that examination would provide the answers that you seek.”

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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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