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St Lucia opposition says no to PetroCaribe

Published:Thursday | January 31, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Opposition Leader Stephenson King is calling on the St Lucia govern-ment not to join the Venezuelan oil initiative, PetroCaribe, saying it could bring the island into further debt.

"Let's not get involved in this matter. This is not one for the government as it's not a situation where fuel is being sold to the country at a cheaper rate. The fuel is being sold at the very rate that we are currently purchasing it from Trinidad or elsewhere," King said.

Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony said plans were announced to expand the PetroCaribe pro-gramme under which several Caribbean countries have so far benefited from an estimated US$800 million in investments.

Under the initiative launched in 2005, countries receive oil from Venezuela on concessionary terms, and although St Lucia was among regional countries that signed the accord it has not benefited from the initiative.

Anthony said he has instructed his energy minister to prepare formal documentation for Cabinet to consider the matter.