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Maduro vows to take Venezuela out of crisis

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2016 | 5:19 PM
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro is adamant that his country will rise above the challenges it is now experiencing, despite criticism of his leadership.

Speaking to Jamaican journalists following bilateral talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and other government ministers and officials at Jamaica House in Kingston this afternoon, Maduro said his country has endured hard times before and that Venezuela will emerge a stronger country on which Jamaica and others in the region can depend.

Venezuela is currently embroiled in an economic crisis resulting from a plunge in world oil prices. The South American country, which has the world's largest oil reserves, has been facing a severe shortage of basic food items and medicine, with some analysts predicting that the country could be facing a crisis consistent with famine.

Two of its major employers, Coca-Cola and brewers Empresas Polar, have halted production due to the unavailability of sugar and barley in Venezuela.  

Notwithstanding the crisis, Maduro this afternoon told journalists here that his country will prevail.

Lauding the 10-year PetroCaribe agreement with Jamaica, Maduro maintained that countries in the region will only achieve full development through continued cooperation.

And, noting Jamaica's concern for the people of Venezuela, Prime Minister Andrew Holness today said the island will continue to be a voice for fairness and balance in the region. 

He said Jamaica would continue to foster a relationship of trust with Venezuela so that, through dialogue, effective and creative solutions could be found.