“There is something fundamentally wrong with American policies to Cuba and Venezuela,” said Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, as he called out the trade embargo of the United States on Venezuela. He said that the sanctions on Venezuela are also hurting other nations in the Caribbean region. Browne’s reaction was a result of the rising energy prices.
In his comments, he added that the U.S. cannot dictate the Caribbean nations on their trade policies. He also called on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to talk to Caracas to curb the rising price of oil.
According to Browne, Venezuela’s PetroCaribe initiative, which has been around since 2005, could be vital for the region to survive the soaring prices of oil.
“If Venezuela sends us a shipment of petrol, we will take it because people are suffering. You can’t tell me that the United States can have a carve-out for countries in Europe that are not as vulnerable so Venezuela can send them products in order to wipe out debt, but here in the Caribbean, people are suffering, we can’t buy products from Venezuela?” Browne said.
The PetroCaribe energy initiative supplies crude oil to countries in the Caribbean at a lower price than the current world price of oil in the first 90 days. Also, countries may pay the remaining price rate for 25 years, with an interest rate of one per cent yearly. The cost may also be offset by trading goods or services.