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Prime Minister says discussions in Venezuela included “debt restructuring” of Petrocaribe

Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2022. 9:04 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Sunday, November 27, 2022, Prime Minister John Briceño returned from an official visit to Venezuela where he met with President Nicolás Maduro.

An official statement from the Government of Belize noted that discussions “included important negotiations on the debts owed by Belize to Venezuela on which a new agreement was reached that brings substantial benefits to both countries. The leaders instructed their experts to promptly finalize the details of the new accord.”

Prime Minister Briceño says that both leaders discussed renewing the Petrocaribe program.

“See how we can revive Petrocaribe, the Petrocaribe program to be able to see if we can in the near future, once the U.S. ease up the restrictions or sanctions against Venezuela that they would allow us to be able to import subsidize fuel from Venezuela,” PM Briceno said.

“One of the things that we have been looking at is trying to restructure the entire debt of Belize, trying to see how we can reduce the debt to GDP. We have done successfully the super bond and now we have the blue bond. We are looking at how by growing the economy we can reduce the debt to GDP and of course, Venezuela is another one but more work is left to be done,” he added.

The Prime Minister says that he hopes the U.S. can ease the restrictions so that countries can meet their legal obligations to Venezuela.

Lаunсhеd іn 2005, thе РеtrоСаrіbе Аrrаngеmеnt аllоwеd раrtісіраtіng соuntrіеѕ tо рurсhаѕе оіl аt mаrkеt vаluе, рауіng а реrсеntаgе оf thе соѕt uрfrоnt wіth thе bаlаnсе раіd оvеr 25 уеаrѕ аt оnе реrсеnt іntеrеѕt. Ѕаvіngѕ wеrе рut tоwаrd ѕосіаl рrоgrаmѕ іn thе раrtісіраtіng соuntrіеѕ.

Under the previous UDP administration, Belize obtained over $450 million, part of which sunk into Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) for various sporting centers countrywide.


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