(CMC, 12.Sep.2018) — Jamaica says it has benefitted from projects estimated at US$5 billion under the Venezuela-led PetroCaribe initiative over the past 13 years.
CEO of the Petro-Caribe Development Fund Dr Wesley Hughes said the contributions of the fund to Jamaica have been “meaningful and significant”.
Speaking earlier this week at a ceremony marking the 203rd anniversary of the Jamaica Letter written by Venezuela’s liberator Simón Bolívar in 1815, Hughes said the PetroCaribe Development Fund, which has a mandate to strengthen national capacity in the areas of human capital, culture, infrastructure and the environment, had established the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre as an important vehicle in strengthening the friendship between the two countries.
Hughes said the Jamaica Letter has had a “long-lasting impact on Venezuela and on all of Latin America, and I dare say the Caribbean”.
He said the letter demonstrated that Simón Bolívar understood that social and political organisations had to be based on national foundations and must be inclusive of all classes of the people who lived in those societies.
“Today, 203 years later, we stand here, a few metres from where Simón grappled with the ideas of nationhood, independence and national identity, and how leaders should relate to their citizens,” he added.
PetroCaribe is an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. The alliance was launched on 29 June 2005 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. In 2013 Petrocaribe agreed for links with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) to go beyond oil and promote economic cooperation.