Front Page
September 9, 2005

This country has formally signed on the PetroCaribe agreement which provides fuel for this country and other members of the regional community at concessionary terms. Prime Minsiter Dr. Ralph Gonsalves signed the deal along with several other CARICOM members on Tuesday in Kingston, Jamaica.

And having signed that agreement, the Prime Minister returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Wednesday morning, just in time to attend the sitting of the country’s House of Parliament.{{more}}

But just before he left for Jamaica Monday, Dr. Gonsalves called a media briefing in which he explained that he had just returned from the Venezuelan capital Caracas where President Hugo Chavez has reconfirmed his commitment to partner with the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to do the earthworks for the proposed international airport at Argyle, as a grant.

It was in November 2001 that Prime Minister Gonsalves had first raised the matter with President Chavez. And, last Friday, on the invitation of the Venezuelan president, Dr. Gonsalves travelled to Venezuela, accompanied by Ambassador to Washington, Ellsworth John, VINLEC’s Chief Executive Officer, Thornley Myers, adviser to the Prime Minister, Dr.Rudy Matthias and Camillo Gonsalves, the lawyer son of the Prime Minister, who recently took up an appointment in the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

During the visit, Prime Minister Gonsalves and President Chavez held wide-ranging discussions on topics of mutual interest on the bilateral, regional and international agenda, at the end of which they issued a Joint Communique.

The Prime Minister said he used the opportunity to reiterate the interest of his government in inviting the Government of Venezuela to partner with St.Vincent and the Grenadines in the building of the international airport; to promote its deeper integration into the region and to foster economic development.

President Chavez, on the other hand, has expressed that he would collaborate with the government and people of St.Vincent and the Grenadines in order to elaborate the project, execute the earth works and cooperate with the execution of this important work.

President Chavez has also given his word that he would be willing to assist with the pavement of the runway for the airport.

The Joint Communique expressed the urgent need to speed up the procedures for implementing the agreement of friendship and cooperation signed during President Chavez’ 2001 visit to St.Vincent and the Grenadines. In this regard, President Chavez, in the Communique, expressed his desire to consolidate the relationship with this country through cooperative actions that will benefit the productive and social sectors of both countries.

The Prime Minister and the Venezuelan President reaffirmed their “condemnation of acts of terrorism in all its forms.” In this regard Dr. Gonsalves expressed his support to the request by Venezuela to the Government of the United States for the extradition of the terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles.