Emma Okocha On The Caribbean
”Petrocaribe is an expression of the right policy of ALBA for the autonomous management of the energy resources, necessary to reach the independence and economic development with social welfare for our peoples….the phase of consolidation into which Petrocaribe is entering as of this 111 Summit should go beyond the energy sphere and place itself within the spaces of productive integration, and social development through the elimination of any kind of barriers and limitations by the most developed countries in relation to the export of products and goods generated in the countries with relatively lower development.

The joint development of air and sea transport as an indispensable requisite for actual integration.The fulfillment of these objectives is fundamental for the historic re-launching and convergence with current initiatives for integration. It would translate, moreover into a beneficial utilization of energy resources in favor of the social welfare of our peoples. ” -See the Alba Economia ISSUE 1, December, 2007 Page 33.

President Hugo Chavez

”Why is Nigeria an oil producing country selling the product at such exorbitant prices to its people . ”
-The Venezuelan Ambassador to Nigeria, Commenting on the high price of petroleum products.

”The national poverty ratings according to the UN, for Venezuela was 54%. in 1998. Ten years later
the same UN and the Economic Commission of Latin America have recognised that President Chavez Social
programs for Venezuela have reduced the poverty levels from over half the the entire population, to only 26%,
of the same population, with the abject poverty bracket going down to 7%.

Emmanuel, the opposition is riled by the fact that the  President is of Afro descent, you will notice it in his hair color and texture, and they are not comfortable with that fact. They have openly used all types of explicits against the President. Every ex Venezuelan Presidents end up as millionaires. But President Chevas is going to be the richest of them all.

He may not have any foreign bank accounts, he does not want the big mansions, those are not his motivations. His desire in government is to utilize the oil earnings and increase the capabilities of government to provide social variables, establish power, offer the people free education at all levels and feed the pupils who must eat while attending classes, establish state of the arts free medical services, and spread the oil windfall to the poor neighbors of the both the Caribbean and the South American States.

The President believes that there is enough in the world to go round for everybody. Rich people should be made to understand that if poverty is reduced, there will be less anxiety and less desire to amass ill gotten wealth, less self punishing greed and extra labor to loot the peoples treasury. ”
– His Excellency, Ambassador Juan Carlos Valdez G. Venezuelan Ambassador to Barbados.

For many years, Venezuela, the Jewel of the planet, was a silent large exporter of oil, noted for its final surges at the annual Miss World Beauty extravagances. The silence was overthrown with the volcanic emergence of President  Hugo Chevas on the world’s power corridors. Riding on a socialist political program he won the Presidential elections, overthrew the status quo and have since, upped the tempo of internal development in Venezuela.

Externally, he has created the Petrocaribe initiative, aimed at providing affordable prices for the Caribbean nations unable to pay for the sky rocketing oil prices. In a world that has lost the pragmatist leadership of Charles De Gualle, the intellectual prophecy of a J.F. Kennedy, praying for the return or the peaceful passage of the bearded fatigued Cuban revolutionary, a world that continue to yearn for the charismatic presence of a Peron, the courage of a Kwame Nkrumah, the emergence of Chevas as a global player has attracted the cameras and at the sametime continued to rake up controversies from friends and foes alike.

Vanguard have been on the two regions and decided to explore the Venezuela forays into OPEC ; what that country inspite of its international politics have been able to do for its people with the money earned from oil. His Excellency Ambassador Juan Carlos Valdez G. was able to answer our questions in an exclusive interview at his embassy in Hastings, Barbados.

Below are Excerpts….

Sir , What is the Petrocaribe and what is the philosophy behind that initiative?

The Ambassador took over and described the Petrocaribe initiative as the practical mechanism through which Venezuela has come to the aid of the brother Caribbean states who were almost being decapitalized by their inability to pay for the sky rocketing and unstable oil prices.

These states who sign the agreement with Venezuela therefore are given some 90 days instead of the normal 30-60 days to pay for the oil bill.  They will again be provided to pay only 40% of the bill and the rest of the 60% will be paid within 25years at a 1% fixed rate,  without any variation, with two years of grace.

”The intention is to encourage the hard hit states to employ the 60% from the delayed bill to provide and budget for internal development and social benefits as we have been able to accomplish in Venezuela.” the Ambassador stated.

The Ambassador contested that with the Petrocarib grace offered to Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Antigua Belize, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba etc, these countries have completed building their refineries ,  their electricity or their Housing projects.

NEXT WEEK: What Venezuela And Trinidad Provided To Their People With The Oil Earnings..

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