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Sep 15, 2017

Opposition Leader Says Venezuela May Be Backing Away from Belize

John Briceño

Meanwhile, APBEL General Manager John Mencias has told News Five that the problems with shipments have been ongoing for months now and provoked much complaint from the Government to both APBEL and Puma. There were some concerns at times that as PDV-Caribe failed to come through with oil shipments, Belize could run out of regular gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, having already lost premium supply.  Any questions about the future of the Petrocaribe Accord as it relates to loan repayments from Belize to Venezuela would be reserved for the Government. Opposition Leader John Briceño weighed in today as well, sounding the death knell for Petrocaribe and demanding an accounting of the hundreds of millions spent on Christmas and Mother’s Day Cheer, tacos and pibil and other assorted niceties. But he also raised another possibility for the outcome of the bilateral talks – Venezuela walking away because of perceived lack of support from Belize.

 

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“The issue here is that the orgy, food orgy has come to an end; all this fuel that has been sold to Belize on credit through Petrocaribe is coming to an end. And there’s different reasons: I know that [John] Mencias is saying that because the supplies are not consistent and that’s why they have to find other ways how to get. But it could be that Venezuela is saying: we di give you all of this free money, we see how you are [badly] spending it; we di see that there is a lot of corrupt deals going on – because they are not happy as to how Government has been spending the Petrocaribe. It was supposed to have been used to alleviate poverty, and now here we are – we have even more poverty today than when that project was enacted. Secondly, we know that they have been going through a difficult time. But thirdly, have you ever thought that maybe the Venezuelans are saying, ‘I’m going to punish you, Belize, because after I have given you four hundred and fifty million dollars, you turned your back to us when we wanted your support at the O.A.S. – remember, when the O.A.S. wanted to take out sanctions against Venezuela and Belize was one of those that supported giving the sanctions against Venezuela through the O.A.S. – they did not go all the way to the vote. But this could be one way that Venezuela says, ‘if you don’t want to stand by me, why should I stand by you?  I wish I could say yes, that it would continue; but all indications are that it’s not going to continue. The spree is over and now the hangover is coming; it’s time to pay. And I don’t see Venezuela, as much as we would like the help, it would be very difficult for them to keep up that level of assistance they have been giving, especially when they are seeing that a lot of these monies have been spent under questionable deals, under corrupt deals and corrupt contracts. So I don’t see a bright future for Petrocaribe here in Belize.”

 

Mencias has insisted that no political considerations, international or domestic, entered into APBEL’s decision to suspend purchases. In related news, the Government has yet to announce the details of price increases for fuel announced more than a week ago. There is a tanker discharging currently but there has been no notice of price increases with this shipment.

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1 Response for “Opposition Leader Says Venezuela May Be Backing Away from Belize”

  1. Marwaione says:

    Almost half billion free $$$. I don’t think so, Venezuela is suffering right now and can’t afford to give to their own people much less another country

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