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Antigua and Barbuda government, opposition at odds over PetroCaribe debt

Published:Thursday | September 11, 2014 | 9:34 AM

Antigua and Barbuda's government and the main opposition United Progressive Party are at odds over the level of debt owed to Venezuela under the PetroCaribe oil initiative.

While speaking at a news conference earlier this week, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the country owes Caracas US$375 million and that efforts are being made to have the loan restructured.

Under the PetroCaribe initiative, Antigua and Barbuda acquires oil and petroleum products from Caracas on concessionary terms with 60 per cent being paid up front.

The remaining 40 per cent is converted into a concessional loan to be repaid over a 25-year period at a two per cent interest rate.

Former prime minister and opposition leader Baldwin Spencer, under whose administration Antigua and Barbuda joined the PetroCaribe initiative, has accused the Government of not giving a true picture of the PetroCaribe debt.

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