Saturday, July 6, 2013

PETROCARIBE consolidated as regional force

• Group rejects Cuba’s inclusion on list of nations sponsoring terrorism

MANAGUA.— Petrocaribe was founded eight years ago as an Energy Cooperation Accord, in an effort to respond to world economic conditions and prevailing policies implemented by industrialized countries which marginalized Third World nations. The enterprise has been consolidated as an economic mechanism with significant impact in the region. This was clearly demonstrated during the recently concluded 8th Summit of the undertaking, based on the ideas of Comandantes Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro.

In his comments to the event held June 29-30 in the Nicaraguan capital, Cuba’s First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel said that the regional body is based on solidarity and humanity, helping those who most need an oil supply at fair prices and payment options appropriate for each of the member countries.

Díaz-Canel advocated expanding the objectives of the integrationist bloc, with an economic zone supporting the elimination of poverty and illiteracy, promoting development in the countries which make up the multinational entity.

He added that Cuba supports the establishment of a Petrocaribe Economic Zone and the proposal to extend cooperation with other ALBA countries, according to La Voz del Sandinismo.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said that the entity, established in 2005 by 18 countries in the region, was a way to assure energy security for peoples and allow for the strengthening of economies.

"The Petrocaribe Economic Zone is not conceived as solely serving commercial ends, but also the creation of production sequences in the region, in defense of our peoples’ interests and not those of multinational companies’ centers of power," Ortega said.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro emphasized that Petrocaribe must become a poverty-free zone in which illiteracy is eradicated; better health care provided and a comprehensive food plan developed, AVN reported.

"Defeating illiteracy with education must be first. Second, expanding Mission Miracle and third, implementing a food plan. All of these measures in the spirit of that giant named Hugo Chávez," he added.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, who attended the meeting as a guest, said that this type of initiative emerged "to free ourselves from those who would subjugate us, dominate us and plunder our natural resources."

Morales indicated that his experience in Bolivia has prompted him to propose a new relationship between Petrocaribe and other ALBA countries, to broaden the economic zone and link it to other integrationist entities in the region.

Porfirio Lobo of Honduras commented that the Petrocaribe Economic Zone will help the most needy overcome their challenges.

President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic supported the creation of an economic zone and thanked the Venezuelan people for their solidarity with this type of initiative which promotes the region’s development.

Likewise, Haitian President Michel Martelly saluted the efforts of Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro to realize the dream of unity.

Those present at the 8th Summit condemned the arbitrary inclusion of Cuba on the U.S. government list of states which sponsor terrorism, according to PL.

Inclusion on this State Department list implies serious sanctions and, in the case of Cuba, serves to justify the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed on the country for more than 50 years. (SE)

July 05, 2013