Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Hughes says Jamaica has benefited from petrocaribe agreement

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 10:32 AM
CEO of Petro-Caribe Development Fund Dr Wesley Hughes - Contributed photo

Chief Executive Officer of the PetroCaribe Development Fund Dr Wesley Hughes says the PetroCaribe arrangement has resulted in the financing of projects worth US$5 billion over the past 13 years.

Hughes made the announcement while speaking at a ceremony last Thursday at the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre in downtown, Kingston for the 203rd anniversary of the Jamaica Letter written by Venezuela’s Liberator, Simón Bolívar, in 1815.

The event was organised by the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre in collaboration with the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Hughes said the contribution of the Fund to Jamaica has been “meaningful and significant”.

He said the PetroCaribe Development Fund, which has a mandate to strengthen national capacity in the areas of human capital, culture, infrastructure, and the environment, had established the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre as an important vehicle in strengthening the friendship between Jamaica and Venezuela.

Reflecting on the Jamaica Letter, he said it has had a “long-lasting impact on Venezuela and on all of Latin America, and I dare say the Caribbean”.

He said the Letter demonstrated that Simón Bolívar understood that social and political organisations had to be based on national foundations and must be inclusive of all classes of the people who lived in those societies.

“Today, 203 years later, we stand here, a few metres from where Simón grappled with the ideas of nationhood, independence and national identity and how leaders should relate to their citizens,” he added.

In her remarks, Under-Secretary, Bilateral, Regional and Hemispheric Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Alison Stone-Roofe, said the Letter came at a critical juncture in the liberation struggles of Latin America.

She said it outlined the successes of the region in the struggle for freedom, presented justifications for independence and stressed the need for regional integration.

“It is, therefore, quite fitting for us today, on this anniversary of the Jamaica Letter, to highlight those principles which Bolívar so fervently embodied and exemplified throughout his lifetime,” she said.

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