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  • We are also happy that the President is joined on this visit by the Venezuelan Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Petroleum and Mining, Industry and Commerce, Government Administration, Communication and Information, Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, and the President of the Petroleum Corporation of Venezuela.
  • It is our belief that disputes should be resolved peacefully and diplomatically through dialogue, respect for democracy, rule of law and good governance. We look forward to a timely and amicable resolution, and a return to stability, for the good of the people of Venezuela.
  • We must continue to nurture relations of trust, so that we can, through dialogue about all issues, find creative solutions, bearing in mind the very deep and effective relationship that has existed between our countries for decades.

Members of the Jamaican Press,
Members of the Press from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!
Buenas tardes!
We are delighted that His Excellency Nicolas Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has paid this brief working visit to Jamaica.

We are also happy that the President is joined on this visit by the Venezuelan Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Petroleum and Mining, Industry and Commerce, Government Administration, Communication and Information, Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, and the President of the Petroleum Corporation of Venezuela.

Our relations with Venezuela go back at least 200 years when the Great Liberator Simon Bolivar took refuge on our shores, in 1815, and penned his famous Jamaica Letter, which outlined his vision for hemispheric unity and integration.

We recall President Maduro’s visit to Jamaica just September last year, on the occasion of the Summit to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the PetroCaribe Agreement, and also to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Jamaica Letter, and the inauguration of the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre in downtown, Kingston.

We extend a warm Jamaican welcome to President Maduro, and acknowledge that such high level contacts are a symbol of the strong ties of history, friendship and cooperation that unite Jamaica and Venezuela.

I wish to convey appreciation to Venezuela for its continued support to Jamaica and its expressed commitment to the PetroCaribe initiative, despite the serious economic challenges facing Venezuela at this time. Jamaica remains committed to the Agreement which has contributed to our energy security as well as to the social and economic development of our country.

In our bilateral discussions today, I was joined by Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; the honourable Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance and Public Service; the honourable Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries; the honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; the honourable Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy, and Technology; Ambassador for Economic Affairs, His Excellency Dr. Nigel Clarke; and the Ambassador of Jamaica to Venezuela, Her Excellency Mrs. Sharon Weber.

Our discussions were fruitful, and conducted in the spirit of the friendly relations that exist between both countries. Our deliberations were focussed on cooperation in trade, energy and culture, and we agreed on the following:
1) To improve trade, especially through arrangements under the PetroCaribe Agreement. This initiative will be led by the honourable Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance and Public Service;

2) An expedited agreement on the Refinery Upgrade Project which is mutually considered to be imperative to the economic development of Jamaica;

3) Strengthening cultural ties with Venezuela, including through cooperation with Venezuela’s El Sistema, a world renowned youth orchestra and system of training youths in music.

We look forward to the continued cooperation and collaboration between our countries, and reiterate our appreciation to Venezuela for their generosity over the years.
Jamaica will continue to be a voice of fairness and balance in the region. We have been closely following, with concern, the political and economic developments in Venezuela, and we wish for social and political peace to prevail, for the greater good and welfare of all Venezuelans.

It is our belief that disputes should be resolved peacefully and diplomatically through dialogue, respect for democracy, rule of law and good governance. We look forward to a timely and amicable resolution, and a return to stability, for the good of the people of Venezuela.

We must continue to nurture relations of trust, so that we can, through dialogue about all issues, find creative solutions, bearing in mind the very deep and effective relationship that has existed between our countries for decades.

In closing, we wish for the Government and people of Venezuela peace, progress and prosperity in the years ahead.

Muchas gracias!

I will now invite President Maduro to make his remarks.

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