TELESUR – Saint Lucia has made history with the first ‘ALBA’ bridge.
The Venezuelan Government, through the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas (ALBA) funding, provided US$2.7 million to the Government of Saint Lucia to construct three bridges. One of those, the Grand Riviere bridge in Dennery, Saint Lucia opened Saturday and was renamed the ALBA Bridge, following a festive ceremony.
The new bridge was officially inaugurated by Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony and Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez.
Dr. Anthony, who said the grant funds were made available to Saint Lucia without any conditions, thanked the government of Venezuela for lending a hand of friendship to Saint Lucia in tough economic times.
“With Venezuela, no matter the difficulties they have, the challenges they have, yet they have extended a helping hand not just to Saint Lucia, but to the entire Caribbean and for this reason the friendship and they gifts they have given us are even more special in our hearts. I ask (you) to take back to President Maduro the thanks, the appreciation and the love of the people of Saint Lucia, for the friendship that we have with the government and people of Venezuela,” Anthony said.
“Venezuela has stood at our side since independence … to date we have received through ALBA over UD$37 million in support to this country,” the St. Lucian leader added.
The Member of Parliament for Dennery North, Shawn Edward said this was a special day for the people, who are witnessing the biggest infrastructural project in their area since independence.
“The old bridge was a source of worry for not just constituents of Dennery North but for citizens across the island, because daily, thousands of Saint Lucians had to cross this bridge to get to work either in Castries (in the North) or in Vieux Fort (in the South). And also, we had hundreds of students traveling to Castries to get an education and they had to encounter that bridge sometimes twice daily,” Edward said. “On days when it rained heavily, the bridge was a source of worry for most of the individuals who traveled the highway day in and day out. Anytime it rained we were always on the lookout for the flood waters causing the bridge to be completely submerged.”
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez congratulated the people of Saint Lucia on their 36th anniversary of independence and said that Venezuela and ALBA continue to fight for happiness for people and against poverty.
“Every time we see the result of ALBA, for us it is always more than numbers. When we think that almost more than four million people that were liberated from illiteracy, it is more than just a number,” the Venezuelan minister said. “We are also thinking about the millions of people who had the sight restored because of the Mission Milagro. So standing here, in the name of ALBA, inspires us to continue to assist.”
Saint Lucia became a member of ALBA in 2012.
The 20-meter long ALBA Bridge is a two-lane reinforced concrete bridge measuring includes two pedestrian sidewalks.