Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2015 Contents FEBRUARY 2015 • WEEK ONE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
ENERGY | BG7
Caribbean nations who are
part of PetroCaribe
would not have to pay
more for oil as a result of
declining prices of the
commodity on the inter-
national market, accord-
ing to Venezuela's
ambassador to T&T, Coromoto Godoy
Calderon. She added that the Caribbean
nations pay before the stipulated 90-day peri-
"They don't have to pay more because the
price has been established in the agreement.
It means whatever price that was negotiated
before the declining oil prices, stays."
The ambassador spoke to Business Guardian
last Wednesday, at the Embassy's headquarters
Victoria Avenue in Port-of-Spain. She said:
"Venezuela will keep the conditions (nego-
tiated) with PetroCaribe, since an agreement
has been established. This situation with the
oil prices started last year. Last year we had
two new members: St Lucia and El Salvador.
If Venezuela is promoting PetroCaribe-we
must always meet with the governments of
Calderon said the Venezuelan government
does not only see PetroCaribe as a means of
earning revenue for the country, but the oil
supply agreement ensures that the social fabric
of each country is taken into consideration
before signing the final agreement. "We under-
stand that in the region, you cannot talk about
development of your own country, if you don't
think about the countries that surround you."
Apart from PetroCaribe, Venezuela has been
facing the challenge of some its distributors
withholding basic necessities, mainly food
items resulting in long lines in front of food
stores and other businesses. The ambassador
said the food distributors wanted President
Maduro to believe that he had lost the support
of the people, but she assured that Maduro
had put strict measures in place.
A change in the approach of the Nicolas
Maduro administration appears to be on the
way, as BBC reported on February 2 that shop
owners had been arrested. President Maduro
said in that media report that: ""Yesterday
we detected that a famous chain of stores was
conspiring, irritating the people. We came,
we normalized sales, we summoned the own-
ers, we arrested them and they're prisoners
for having provoked the people," he said.
The ambassador said in 2014, the Govern-
ment started to work on dealing with the
scarcity in basic goods and services.
"What is really going on with the products?
How is the distribution channel moving?
What we realise is that some of the products
go to other places like Colombia, even to T&T.
We ask ourselves how do the products arrive
here? We have not seen any agreement and
no import or export companies have not come
Commenting on the problem of people lin-
ing up to buy food she said, "part of it is real
and part is motivated. Some sectors are anti-
government and are promoting this (the with-
holding of basic food products)."
She said the Government supports the
retailers, food distributors and the producers
by giving them a subsidy so they can have a
consistent supply of food to Venezuela but
they do not distribute the food.
"Some of them have fake companies. Some
of them were keeping the money in United
States for instance in Miami or other state.
It has become worse and worse progressively.
The Government is realising this and is work-
ing hard to improve, the ambassador said.
An agreement was signed between the Gov-
ernment and the food distributors with a con-
ditionality that should the supply continue
to be inconsistent distributors can be jailed.
Nothing can be done to increase the standard
of living of the Venezuela people unless this
situation of people lining up has eased, she
"New laws are being developed and with
the new laws you will have consequences."
With the declining oil prices there is need
to deepen that country's diversification thrust.
From agriculture, to mining, human talent
and lots more which that country can use to
diversify its economy. Transformation of that
economy will take time.
In late 2014, large companies like American
Airlines were owed millions of dollars by the
Venezuelan government, but the Ambassador
said this problem has been rectified.
"Throughout the years, the Government
did not have debts with any country. With
the airlines the problem was with the currency
control. They wanted to make all the profits
in Venezuela and then put the money in foreign
accounts in the US. A review was done, and
in the time that the Government took to review
the situation, everything stopped."
She added that after two months the sit-
uation settled and there is a payment plan in
Role of PetroCaribe in uniting the region
- PDVSA (the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company) is the fifth largest oil
company in the world
- PetroCaribe accounts for less than 5 per cent of Venezuelan oil exports
- Venezuela is and will continue to be a reliable and secure provider of hydrocarbons
- One of Venezuela's main oil customers is the United States of America. During the year
2013 it received an average of 548,000 barrels of oil daily, what constitutes a 34.8 per cent
of Venezuelan oil exports
- The developments of complimentary energies are an integral part of the objectives of the
agreement which has developed positively since its inception. "We have a 9 year track record
of continuous reliable supply
-Some 14 successful joint ventures have been constituted in 11 member States
-The financing programme proposed by Venezuela permits flexibility in the debt generated,
which to this day remain competitive against more conventional schemes
-The financing of PetroCaribe has the aim of socio-economic development of the member
countries, which to date has yielded positive results in terms of GDP and in the Human Devel-
-PetroCaribe has increased the GDP in the region by 25 per cent
-PetroCaribe has promoted investment in energy infrastructure and development projects
such as refineries, storage facilities and distribution of fuel such as electricity plants and clean
-The cooperation of Venezuela in terms of energy towards the region is long established
-The ideological affiliation of PetroCaribe member states is wide and diverse
-The Governments of the people of the Caribbean are free and sovereign do not accept
bribes nor will they sell themselves
-Petrocaribe can be considered a unanimous political decision of working together for
-Venezuela maintains its commitment by: Consolidating Petrocaribe by means of plainly
achieving its objectives that were established in the agreement
-Ratifying the role of energy as an element for integration- the process of creating a regional
Source: Venezuela Embassy in T&T
Venezuela's ambassador to T&T,
Coromoto Godoy Calderon:
negotiated oil price
holds for the
PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
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