Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Time to build out our alternate energy platforms

Published:Thursday | September 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

There is nothing wrong if someone gets assistance from one who is financially willing and able. However, when that person's fortune changes, it is wrong to expect that person to continue to assist you when they are having trouble to the point where they are even finding it difficult to provide for their own family.

At that point, the beneficiary should step back and say, 'Thanks for your support, but I understand your situation now', and move on. Or, if you are now more prosperous, offer to reciprocate their past kindness. Anything less would be unconscionable.

I am just a layman, but every time I hear about the PetroCaribe Agreement between Jamaica and Venezuela, I envision the above analogy. Venezuela is a country that is fast becoming impoverished, partly because of the fall in oil prices and also because of the dictatorial government.

You hear daily stories of the hardships of the citizens and the takeover of private enterprises by the government. Their economy is in such a state that they are willing to accept 50 cents on the dollar to liquidate their PetroCaribe debt. Despite this, Jamaica is still seeking concessions from them, to the detriment of their people. Venezuela simply cannot afford to continue this concession. I hear our Government speaking about the possible expansion of the PetroCaribe Agreement in the near future. Are we really serious?

Jamaica must thank Venezuela for their assistance over the years. It has helped us well especially when the oil prices were high. However, one cannot be dependent on someone for life as things change. You build a country on shaky ground when you depend too much on subsidised and preferential treatment. The price of oil is now more affordable. We must use this time to build out our alternative energy platforms so that we can stand without requiring a crutch down the road.

Andrew Gray

Westmoreland