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Oct 9, 2015

Financial Secretary Says G.O.B. Spent $300M in Petrocaribe Money

Joseph Waight

Where the Ministry of Finance is concerned, the buck stops at Financial Secretary Joe Waight. So when we got the opportunity on Thursday, we asked him about a variety of issues including the status of Petrocaribe monies. The Fin Sec revealed that three hundred million has been spent, and only forty million is left.

 

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The Petrocaribe agreement continues to work; no change. We continue to operate the Petrocaribe and we continue to borrow the finance portion through the government. We have heard nothing from Venezuela that would give us any doubt as to whether it will continue or at least into medium term. If there is a change in government in Venezuela, then a new number could play. But at this point in time, it is business as usual, the arrangement continues and I think it is working well for all of us.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Would you be able to tell us at this point just what how much is left in terms of Petrocaribe monies?

 

Joseph Waight

“Well, I think the Prime Minister mentioned a figure at around fifty or sixty million dollars after making these compensation payments. And some of that is pledged for the new civic center and some of it is pledged to continuing doing some infrastructure work. But every month we borrow a little bit more; on average about four million U.S. dollars a month or so.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Sir would you be able to give us an approximate figure as of November fourth, how much will actually be there in terms of Petrocaribe monies? Taking out what has been pledged to the civic center and other commitments; how much will be left to greet whichever government wins on November fifth?”

 

Joseph Waight

“I think a new government coming in will find close to about forty million dollars in the account, given the programming of the spending that we have in front of us.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Could you refresh my mind how much has been received since 2012 in Petrocaribe and forty million left…how much has been spent?”

 

Joseph Waight

“Well I think we’re talking about a hundred and fifty million U.S. dollars so about three million Belize dollar, but a lot of that went to compensation. In the last month or so, we paid out between B.E.L., which was seventy million Belize dollars, and B.T.L., which was another twenty; we paid out ninety just…and we paid ten for something else…so hundred million went out the door so to speak for the compensation payments within the last month and so that really caused the figure to drop.”

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