That day is a historic one in Dominica-Venezuela relations; on June 29, 2005 the two countries signed off on the PetroCaribe Energy Cooperation Agreement. Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was one of the first leaders in the English-speaking Caribbean to sign on to the accord, which provides ALBA members states with oil on concessionary terms. The initiative has also assisted governments with their development agendas.
Dominica will celebrate a decade of membership in ALBA and PetroCaribe with five weeks of activities.
“I look forward really to the activities of the 29th when we will be renaming the plant from Waitikubuli Storage Facility to the Hugo Chavez Storage Facility, which in recognition of the effort and the hard work that President Chavez has put into the programme,” said Reginald Austrie, Dominica’s Minister with responsibility for PetroCaribe.
Austrie told members gathered for the PetroCaribe 10th Anniversary media launch that the initiative is being hailed as one of the most serious economic programmes in the Caribbean in the last 25 years. He says Dominica has benefited significantly from Petrocaribe. “If you look at the landscape, the infrastructural landscape, the social landscape of Dominica you cannot miss PetroCaribe,” he said.
General Manager of PDV Caribe Dominica Henry Blanco told the local press that the company continues to fulfill the mission of the PetroCaribe agreement which is built on fair trade, solidarity, social justice and the common will to develop.
He also praised both Prime Minister Skerrit and the late President Hugo Chavez for their vision, adding that this initiative ensures that developing countries have “secure and reliable access to energy sources.” PetroCaribe-funded projects on the Caribbean island include two sea-defense walls in the north and south of the island, as well as the Salybia Primary School and the Rosalie to Petit Soufriere Road in the East.