October 16, 2009
SVG not using SUCRE – PM

Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves has made it absolutely clear that although St.Vincent and the Grenadines is a member of ALBA, this country will not be using the SUCRE.{{more}}

Known as the Unique System of Regional Compensation (SUCRE) – this currency has been proposed for trade and financial exchanges between member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

“We are not getting involved in any currency arrangements … simply because we have our treaty obligations inside of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union,” said Gonsalves last Wednesday at Cabinet Room.

He said this was made plain by Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

St.Vincent and the Grenadines is a member of the new alliance which has as its members: Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

Poder360, an American business magazine on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, published an article which stated that at the next meeting of ALBA in Bolivia, member countries including St.Vincent and the Grenadines will approve the use of the SUCRE as a means of international payment to honour commitments among the member countries.

However, the prime minister responded by emphatically stating: “We are not in the SUCRE.”

The prime minister also used the opportunity to say that he has not seen any proposal about a military arm to ALBA, but had only read about it in the media.

“As a member of ALBA I have seen no document in that regard,” Gonsalves stressed.

“I will tell you this: People may talk about things…I’m in CARICOM, I hear somebody … talk about something, somebody may float something. I don’t take it as a proposal until I see it come to me that this is something which a particular head wants to do and it enters in decision making,” said Gonsalves.

The prime minister remarked that the participation of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda in ALBA is only on the basis of a socio-economic integration effort, which he claimed is not inconsistent with CARICOM or the OECS.

In February 2007, St.Vincent and the Grenadines, along with Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica signed on to the principles of ALBA. Two years and two months later, on Thursday, April 16, 2009, Venezuela announced that St.Vincent and the Grenadines had been accepted as the seventh country to join ALBA. (HN)