US Summit Aims to Cut Caribbean Addiction on Venezuelan Oil

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Espa帽olUS representatives met on Tuesday, January 27,聽with delegates from 17 Caribbean countries in Washington, DC at the聽Caribbean Energy Security Summit. The group discussed ways to boost聽the use of alternative energy sources in聽order to reduce the influence Venezuela has through its Petrocaribe alliance that provides subsidized oil to Caribbean nations.

During the meeting, the聽US delegation聽proposed a “new energy paradigm” based on private investments to pursue diverse source of energy and reduce their dependence on oil.

The Venezuelan government has used its subsidized oil program, Petrocaribe, to boost its influence in the Caribbean.
The Venezuelan government has used its subsidized oil program, Petrocaribe, to boost its influence in the Caribbean. (Pixabay)
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US Vice President Joe Biden said the Caribbean community has 鈥渁n opportunity for a supply of energy that is more resilient, more sustainable, cleaner, more affordable than its ever had.”

The US government聽advanced a proposal by the World Bank to create a Caribbean Energy聽Investments Network that would allow聽public and private investors to coordinate their聽projects and streamline their goals.

Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs at the US State Department, Amos Hochstein, said that it was the right opportunity and the right time to move beyond simply reducing dependence on Venezuelan oil and towards a new energy paradigm.

Currently, a majority of Caribbean聽countries belong to the Petrocaribe alliance, which since 2007 has supplied subsidized Venezuelan oil in exchange for聽goods and services.

The International Monetary Fund, however, warned last week that due to a drop in oil prices, Caracas has begun to reduce its support for the program.

“Whether it鈥檚 the Ukraine or the Caribbean, no country should be able to use natural resources as a tool of coercion against any other country,” said Biden.

Neither Cuba nor Venezuela sent envoy to attend the summit.

Sources:La Patilla, El Nacional.

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