May 6, 2022

PNP commends Venezuela’s generosity to SVG

The People’s National Party of Jamaica has commended the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for their great act of generosity in providing substantial debt relief to CARICOM neighbour, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

According to reports, this relief amounts to US$70 Million (EC$189 million), or 9% of the national debt of St. Vincent. It will greatly assist that country in its recovery from the Mount Soufriere eruption and the passage of Hurricane Elsa a statement from the PNP states. 

The Opposition understands that Venezuela will also cut in half the debt owed to it by the other countries in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean (OECS) that are members of PetroCaribe, and they will now be able to access oil from Venezuela at a 35% discount on the prevailing market price.  

Venezuela’s recent actions have again demonstrated its commitment and solidarity with the Caribbean region. The people of Jamaica remember well Venezuela’s tremendous act of generosity and solidarity in 2015 when it forgave 50% of Jamaica’s US$3 billion PetroCaribe oil facility debt, the largest debt relief ever received by Jamaica, after a decade of providing very concessionary terms to Jamaica and others for the purchase of Venezuelan oil. 

These events serve to underscore the importance of consistent adherence to principle in our approach to international relations. In contrast, they also clearly reveal the folly of the Holness Administration’s hostility and mistreatment of Venezuela since 2016, including by dividing CARICOM in the votes against Venezuela at the OAS, and the unprecedented expropriation of Venezuela’s shareholding in Petrojam in 2019, the payment for which remains unresolved.

As the table once again turns, the short-sightedness of the Holness Administration has already jeopardised Jamaica’s standing with Venezuela, even as other Caribbean nations are again benefiting from Venezuela’s generosity, the PNP release adds. 

Indeed, now is a good time for Jamaica to show good faith by settling with Venezuela the thorny bilateral issue of the Petrojam shares. 

The People’s National Party reaffirms our commitment to a principled, progressive stance in Jamaica’s International relations. It is an approach which has served our country well, and has enhanced Jamaica’s global standing and reputation among the countries of the world, the release concludes.