Petrocaribe Still Trickling In for Now
Petrocaribe money played a very significant role in the spending which characterized the 2015/2015 fiscal year. The Barrow administration has taken significant and continuous flak for its spending of the three hundred and twenty-five million it has accessed since 2012. As he always has, though, the PM defends the government’s use of the money, accusing the Opposition of playing blue koncas. In his presentation, Barrow says that while the inflow has slowed down, they will continue to make full use of the facility as long as it is available.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Mr. Speaker, already the flows from PetroCaribe are greatly reduced and its very existence, longer term, is uncertain given the recent domestic political developments in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. But we do know one thing for sure. Despite being buffeted by all sorts of travails including the precipitous fall in oil prices and export earnings, Venezuela has so far steadfastly refused to withdraw or alter the program and the support it gives to participating countries. I can think of no greater example in recent times of self sacrifice and international solidarity. We therefore record, once more, our gratitude to the Government and people of Venezuela. In contemplating the possibility, though, that despite best efforts overwhelming circumstances may yet put an end to PetroCaribe, I wish to say two things. This Government is prepared for any eventuality and will manage our public finances accordingly. And how silly and short sighted all the critics now look that were criticizing us for what they claimed was borrowing without end from PetroCaribe. It took no special insight on our part to know that the program had to be finite; and that we should therefore, while the getting was good, procure for the Belizean people every last penny we could from the unbeatable bonanza of one percent money over twenty five years. So the fact that things may be winding down now confounds those crass opportunists that were crying wolf out of bad mind, jealousy and spite because Belize and the U.D.P. were riding so high on a program this Government had succeeded in unlocking. And it fully vindicates this Administration for having gotten as much as it did and having spent it so wisely and so well.”