As yet there is no indication as to which countries signed agreements, or the nature of the agreements, but it is understood that Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro urged member countries of Petrocaribe and ALBA to ignore US Vice President Joe Biden’s advice to reduce dependency on Venezuelan oil.
Among the matters discussed at the energy summit were the assessment of the Petrocaribe financing scheme in relation to penalty interest generated from the financing of the oil bill system, the extending of the Alba-Caribe Fund to leverage the social productive development in Caribbean countries and the designation of a high-level commission to establish a Petrocaribe Economic Zone within 60 days.
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and energy minister Ian Liburd represented St. Kitts and Nevis at the summit, which was also used as an opportunity for a memorial service that commemorated the second anniversary of the death of former President Hugo Chavez.
In a statement issued earlier, Prime Minister Dr. Harris stated, “It is a pleasure to share in two important events happening in Venezuela, one to memorialize the work and vision of former President Chavez, and secondly to participate in my first summit meeting of Petrocaribe.”
He further stated that meeting the energy consumption and demands in St. Kitts and Nevis is made possible through the Petrocaribe arrangement.
The meeting brought together 17 delegations from member countries to boost the multilateral agenda and progress on integration, cooperation and socio-economic development in the region.
Petrocaribe is an oil alliance of Caribbean states that purchase oil and petroleum products from Venezuela on conditions of preferential payment.
The alliance was launched on 29th June 2005 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. In 2013, Petrocaribe agreed to link with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) to go beyond oil and promote economic cooperation.
Petrocaribe has 19 signatory countries, namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.