Venezuela dismisses reported PetroCaribe cutback
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN)- Venezuela has dismissed a Miami Herald report that suggests the country has drastically reduced its shipments of oil to PetroCaribe member nations, which include several in the Caribbean.
The publication, quoting a Barclays Bank report, said Venezuela has cut in half its subsidized shipments of crude oil to Cuba and other PetroCaribe member nations to 200,000 barrels per day, down from the 400,000 shipped in 2012.
The Barclays Bank report said the oil agreements have been a heavy burden for Venezuela, according to the Miami Herald, adding that in the last decade, the agreements have cost Venezuela up to $50 billion.
However, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Delsy Rodriguez who visited St Kitts and Nevis on Monday, told WINN FM that attempts are being made to discredit PetroCaribe.
PetroCaribe is “pretty strong,” Rodriguez said.
“You should ask that to the street people,” she responded, when asked about the report.
“That’s not true,” she insisted.
“Even, we are improving PetroCaribe… the problem is there is a war against PetroCaribe, because PetroCaribe brings solutions to the poor people,” she said, reiterating that the report was not true.
According to the Miami Herald, the cuts deepened after August 2014, when crude oil prices began to drop.
It quotes Barclays Bank as saying that Cuba has received about 55,000 barrels per day since September, nearly half of what it received in 2012.
The report also stated that shipments to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, which account for about half of the program, have dropped 56 percent and 74 percent compared to 2012.
PetroCaribe was also one of the subjects discussed when Rodriguez held talks with Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris on Monday.
“We were talking about PetroCaribe, about the bilateral relations, we were talking about the strength [of] our bonds of [our] relationships. We’re talking also about executive order of the United States against Venezuela,” she said.
Venezuela on Monday gave St Kitts and Nevis a cheque for EC$16 million to assist the country’s former sugar workers.
By Ken Richards of the West Indies News Network