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Sep 15, 2017

DPM Says Suspension of Petrocaribe Will Not Hurt Belize-Venezuela Relations

Tonight, the Petrocaribe initiative remains in limbo following an announcement of the immediate suspension of the program.  A meeting between two officials representing the Venezuelan government and Petroleos de Venezuela Caribe S.A. respectively with Prime Minister Dean Barrow was cancelled this afternoon. However, the officials are expected to arrive in Belize next week. The Government of Belize says it will not jeopardize the country’s supply of petroleum.  Of late, the delivery of fuel from PDVSA has proven to be challenging, forcing distributors to truck containers of fuel into Belize from El Salvador.  That alternative method of importation has come at an additional cost since prices at the pump continue to fluctuate and another increase is expected in the coming days.  While the deal with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment has benefited Belize to the tune of four hundred and fifty million dollars, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber says the issue at hand has more to do with the reliability of shipments.  Government has now opted to procure fuel from another supplier, putting on hold indefinitely its agreement with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, ALBA.  The lack of dependability is the result of a fickle state of affairs in Venezuela where political turmoil involving the Socialist Party led by President Nicolas Maduro continues to undermine democracy. Here’s what DPM Faber had to say:


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“What I understand to be the case is that Venezuela, as a source for petrol, is now very problematic, so much so that on quite a few occasions we have had to import fuel by road and of course this causes the price to fluctuate and we’re not able to have as great a control as we would normally have.  So if that supply is unsteady then it’s not the most reliable thing for us to rely on that, even though, as you know, there were still some trickling benefits from the Petrocaribe agreement.  So I think it is timely, it is very important for us to have a reliable source for our fuel and that is why that decision has been made.”


Isani Cayetano

“What does that spell for the relationship between Belize and Venezuela?”


Patrick Faber

“Well, we continue to cherish that relationship.  I think it’s no secret to Belize that our country has benefited tremendously from that arrangement and, you know, things in Venezuela are very iffy but we stand by them even though our position is that we must support very democratic processes wherever it is in this world.  So while Venezuela is a friendly country to us, we also insist on a democracy and the democratic principles that we support to be implemented in that country.  It does create a very difficult situation but our basic principles of democracy must prevail.  We thank them for friendship and where we can side with them we will do so.”

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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