On the 17th anniversary of the creation of Petrocaribe, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, expressed his expectation that the regional alliance would be restored “very soon” in order to strengthen in favor of the Latin American and Caribbean peoples.
Through his Twitter account, the head of state wrote that Petrocaribe “is a mechanism for the energy security of the Latin American and Caribbean peoples. I am sure that very soon, we will recover the capacity of this instrument. That is the path!”
In recent weeks, particularly after the recent entreaties by the United States government towards Venezuela, many high-ranked Caribbean officials have been publicly demanding the lifting of illegal sanctions against Venezuela. This is due in part to rising oil prices affecting their economies, and occurs despite the fact that some of these countries were very supportive of the illegal coercive measures applied against Venezuela by the US and its allies.
The US has sent two delegations to Venezuela, seeking to acquire oil, following the sanctions levied against Russia following its special military operation against Ukraine.
As Maduro noted, Petrocaribe is an alliance founded by Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, founded on June 29, 2005, that aims to provide petroleum at reduced rates and promote productive economic cooperation.
In the tweet published by the Venezuelan head of state, a video is shown in which, in the voice of then President Hugo Chávez, it is explained that Petrocaribe “was born as an enabling body for energy policies and plans that articulates the region’s energy policies, including everything that has to do with oil and its derivatives—gas, electricity, technological cooperation, the energy structure. It transcends a simple mechanism. It is an integrating, liberating, and unifying mechanism, which seeks to resolve symmetries in access to energy resources, through favorable and fair exchange between countries.”
Hace 17 años se creó PetroCaribe, con la visión integracionista de Chávez y Fidel, un mecanismo para la seguridad energética de los pueblos latinoamericanos y caribeños. Estoy seguro que muy pronto, vamos a recuperar la capacidad de este instrumento. ¡Es el camino! pic.twitter.com/MUuG5RBtDN
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) June 29, 2022
In the same video, President Maduro expressed his opinion that Petrocaribe “has proven to be a project for the protection of our peoples, for liberation, union, for the construction of equality between our countries. It has become a miracle and has brought stability—energy, economic, social and political—to the Caribbean. From Petrocaribe, we say ‘yes, another world can be built, for joint work, and love’—another great opportunity to think about development and well-being.”
US President Joe Biden, then working as vice president for Barack Obama, visited many Caribbean countries in 2015 and encouraged them to leave Petrocaribe, despite the fact the alliance presented a win-win situation for these countries on energy issues. This occurred a few weeks before the US issued its Executive Order labeling Venezuela as an extraordinary and unusual threat for the United States.
Many of those countries stayed loyal to Venezuela despite US aggression, threats, and blackmail, but others succumbed to US pressures and now find themselves abandoned by the US. Oil supply problems and increased problems have been largely generated by the chaotic foreign policy of the US, and the fact that it places US national interests above those of its allies. However, illegal US and European sanctions reduced Venezuela’s ability to maintain the efficient functioning of the Petrocaribe alliance.
Petrocaribe: reduction of asymmetries
Petrocaribe was created to coordinate energy policies that would reduce existing asymmetries in the region, diversify energy platforms, eliminate the intermediation of transnationals, and minimize energy-related operation costs.
The organization sought to transform Latin American and Caribbean societies, to make them fairer, participatory, and mutually supportive. At its peak Petrocaribe included 17 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Venezuela. These were later joined by Haiti, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Honduras joined the energy alliance under the government of Manuel Zelaya but departed after he was overthrown in a US-supported military operation.
Petrocaribe constitutes a multilateral organization capable of ensuring the coordination and articulation of energy policies. It not only includes oil, but also gas, electricity, technological cooperation, training, the development of energy infrastructure, and the use of alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and others.
Petrocaribe promotes fair and equitable access to hydrocarbon resources, based on the principles of solidarity, complementarity, respect and the self-determination of peoples.
(Últimas Noticias) by Janna Corredor with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune