The proposed Petrocaribe review could jeopardize Venezuelan-funded programs in Saint Lucia, Political leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet has said.
Chastanet was referring to comments made by Tomás Guanipa, Secretary General of opposition party Primero Justicia (Justice First) and re-elected deputy at the National Assembly y of Venezuela.
Guanipa was reported in El Universal as saying “We cannot continue selling oil due in 20 years when we need resources immediately. We will promote that our oil is for Venezuelans.”
Guanipa said the new National Assembly to be installed in January in Venezuela will revise international oil agreements the government has signed through oil alliance Petrocaribe.
Chastanet said, “Whatever projects Saint Lucia has received approval for or is expected to get money for is expected to be in jeopardy. I think the Venezuelan economy by all accounts is on a verge of a collapse so anybody who is going to continue depending on that money coming here are fools.”
He said the UWP has repeatedly said that what is going on in Venezuela is not sustainable and has questioned the government countless times on why it is collaborating with a country that is in breach of so many human rights.
Chastanet added: “a global price drop in oil prices will translate to a significant change in policy to Petrocaribe.”
Only five weeks ago, government signed the PetroCaribe Joint Venture Agreement with Venezuela, which seeks to foster trade between Saint Lucia and Venezuela.
President of PetroCaribe Bernardo Alvarez visited Saint Lucia for the signing ceremony and also met with Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.
During the signing ceremony it was revealed that the agreement seeks to facilitate customs, transportation and operations for PetroCaribe projects. It is expected to enact the mechanism which will initiate trade in petroleum products between the two nations.
According to the government, Saint Lucia is looking to doing business specifically with asphalt, with the hope of doing business with diesel and petrol in the near future.