Oil for Rice?: Venezuela, Guyana, and PetroCaribe Agreements

As part of Venezuela’s PetroCaribe program, President Hugo Chavez has offered to increase oil shipments to Guyana from 5,000 to 10,000 barrels a day. PetroCaribe, a partnership agreement launched in 2005 between Venezuela and some Caribbean nations, allows buyers to purchase reasonably cheap oil in large quantities from Venezuela and offsets the cost through a 25-year financing agreement on 1% interest and supplying goods to Venezuela. Countries that benefit from this agreement include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Suriname, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

During Wednesday’s official state visit Chávez met with President Bharrat Jagdeo and a delegation including ministers Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Clement Rohee, and Robert Persaud, and Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Elisabeth Harper. The agreements include a Letter of Commitment between Venezuela’s People’s Power for Food and Guyana’s Ministry of Agriculture. Among other food products, Guyana is to supply polished rice to Venezuela from 50,000 tons and paddy to 70,000 tons. The shipments complement Ministry of Agriculture’s approach to diversify the market to ensure that farmers benefit from better prices and timely payment; under the agreement, Guyana has been able to increase the prices for paddy and white rice. Highlighting the values of fair trade Jagdeo has expressed his appreciation at the timely decision of the Venezuelan government to purchase Guyanese rice, which has brought benefit to the small farmers of the rice industry.

Other topics at the meeting included advanced talks on a proposed road link between the Venezuela and Guyana and cooperation between the two countries to tackle illegal fishing.

In his address at the signing ceremony, President Jagdeo pointed to the relationship between the two states and thanked President Chavez and the people of Venezuela for their contribution to the Caribbean, especially Haiti.

For full article, see http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-24010–13-13–.html  

Also see http://www.caribbeandailynews.com/?p=11770 and http://www.guyanachronicleonline.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16401:guyana-venezuela-advance-proposed-road-link-other-projects&catid=4:top-story&Itemid=8

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