- Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, has called for the construction of a tertiary institution in Jamaica to honour the legacy of late Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez.
- Mr. Patterson said he had discussed the idea with the late President.
- Mr. Patterson informed that the design work on the proposed institution started many years ago and urged the region’s leaders to move ahead with the establishment of the Hugo Chavez Academy.
Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, has called for the construction of a tertiary institution in Jamaica to honour the legacy of late Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez.
Mr. Patterson, who was addressing the 10th anniversary commemorative ceremony of the PetroCaribe Agreement at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Saturday (September 5), said he had discussed the idea with the late President.
“We wanted to build in Jamaica, where (Venezuelan Liberator) Simon Bolivar wrote his summons of inspiration to the people of the Americas, a tertiary education (institution) which would offer specialist education in the fields of language, sports, culture, tourism, environment, maritime training and nursing,” he said
“This would expose the sons and daughters of Simon Bolivar, Jose Marti, Toussaint L’Ouverture and Marcus Garvey to develop fluency in language and hone the skills, which blend our economic development and different cultures,” he added.
Mr. Patterson informed that the design work on the proposed institution started many years ago and urged the region’s leaders to move ahead with the establishment of the Hugo Chavez Academy.
He said that despite the financial constraints, which exist across the region, the funding must be found to establish “this very important institution” in recognition of President Chavez’ contribution to the region’s development.
“I believe you, the leaders who are gathered here, can marshal the monetary and academic resources to build an institution of higher learning. Let it stand as an enduring testimony to Hugo Chavez, who, in his short sojourn on our planet, did indeed make a monumental difference on which this and succeeding generations must build,” Mr. Patterson expressed.
In looking at the 10 years of the PetroCaribe agreement, Mr. Patterson, who was Prime Minister at its genesis in 2005, said it has opened a new era of collaboration to uplift and advance the economic and social conditions of the Caribbean people.
“Chavez was emphatic that it encompasses those who have been historically oppressed and downtrodden,” Mr. Patterson pointed out.
Mr. Patterson said it is significant that PetroCaribe’s birth came during President Chavez’ first overseas trip as head of Venezuela.
“We had the honour of receiving the President of Venezuela on February 10th 1999 here in Montego Bay at the 9th summit of the Group of 15 (G-15) on what was his first Presidential trip abroad.
In his opening presentation to that Summit, Hugo Chavez pledged to advance the Bolivarian Agenda, which was to promote the pace and scope of integration between the nations in the Caribbean space and to embrace initiatives, which would redress the inequalities in developing countries of the south and the industrialised countries of the north,” Mr. Patterson said.