President Porfirio Lobo Sosa, traveled on Sunday to Caracas, Venezuela, to participate in the Seventh Summit of Heads of State and Government of the member countries of Petrocaribe. This meeting’s theme was, “Energy for the Union”.
The President of Honduras arrived at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia, where he was received by the Deputy Foreign Minister, David Velasquez, and officials from the Embassy of Honduras in Venezuela.
At the start of the Summit, the Minister of Petroleum and Mining of Venezuela and President of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Rafael Ramirez, welcomed Honduras back to the Petrocaribe initiative, amid loud applause from the group.
The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, was happy to see Honduras rejoin Petrocaribe in Venezuela, saying,”Welcome Honduras, it will be an honor to work with you American brothers.”
President Lobo stated that this was an important step towards the development of the peoples of Latin America, “We will work hard to achieve a better development and well-being for our families,” he said.
Petrocaribe provides oil and natural gas on preferential terms for its member countries, and thus, Honduras will begin receiving these benefits. The funds are intended to boost social programs and provide clean energy. Through Petrocaribe, oil and its derivatives require a payment of 60 percent up front, and finances the rest at a 1% interest rate over 25 years. Payment can be made with foodstuffs, fuels that also benefit local farmers. Funds generated from the payment of Petrocaribe, are managed under a trust, with resources allocated for programs to improve infrastructure, housing, health, education, and sanitation.
At the Summit, Petrocaribe member states agreed to create a new economic zone to strengthen the exchange of products among all participating nations.
At present, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Venezuela participate in Petrocaribe.
The conclave ended with a tribute to late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, the founder and avid promoter of this initiative.