JIS News

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government will meet in Montego Bay on September 6 to put the finishing touches on the Venezuelan PetroCaribe Initiative.
Heads of all countries, which signed the PetroCaribe Agreement at Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela on June 29, will sign final documents with Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, giving effect to the PetroCaribe agreement between these countries and Venezuela.
Speaking at the recent signing of an energy co-operation agreement under the Venezuelan PetroCaribe Initiative, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said the meeting would also facilitate a range of discussions on matters of regional concern and to reaffirm the commitment to self-reliance and regional integration. In an interview with JIS News, Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman explained the rationale for the agreement. “It is accepted that within the CARICOM region there has to be a higher level of co-operation, not only among ourselves, but with our partners in the hemisphere and that is why we have not only CARICOM, but the Association of Caribbean States, of which we are all members,” he said.
Senator Whiteman explained further that, “within CARICOM, there is only one oil producing country and that country, while it is helpful to neighbours and partners, cannot obviously provide all the needs of the rest of CARICOM countries, and so with Venezuela being another oil rich country within the hemisphere, this is a higher level of regional co-operation in which all of our countries will be involved”.
The meeting and the signing, Senator Whiteman explained, was about “giving substance to the concept of regional co-operation”.
He noted that Trinidad and Tobago, which was expected to be represented at the meeting, had arrangements with Venezuela, which were to the mutual benefit of both countries.
On the commemoration tribute, Senator Whiteman said the event was “essentially aimed at recognizing the role of S