While some Caribbean states could be affected if Venezuela’s Petro Caribe fails, Saint Lucia will not be one of those countries.
Energy Minister Dr. James Fletcher has said that the island entered Petro Caribe late and the previous administration did not avail itself of that opportunity.
Dr. Fletcher noted that while other Islands have invested heavily in Petro Caribe, Saint Lucia has never entered an agreement for Venezuela to supply the island with fuel.
As such, the initiative has not impacted the local economy, but will most likely affect other Caribbean member countries.
Forty years ago, Venezuela was the fourth richest nation, per capita, in the world. Today, its economy is collapsing.
Last year, the collapse in global oil prices brought the already floundering economy to its knees.
Under the Venezuela initiative, only 60 per cent has to be paid upfront for oil purchased. Petro Caribe member countries pay more upfront, the higher, the global price of oil.
Caricom estimates it will cost US$20 billion over the next five to 10 years to transform the region’s energy sectors.