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PM Browne, President Maduro discuss issues of mutual concern

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne has held discussions with the Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro on a range of issues including Petro-Caribe.

A statement issued by the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the meeting held on Monday “discussed joint agreements and projects to benefit the Caribbean people”.

During the meeting, President Maduro reaffirmed his commitment to the Bolivarian Integration Alliance (ALBA-TCP) and support and assistance for energy through Petro-Caribe.

“The government of Venezuela renewed its commitment to reactivate the Petro-Caribe Initiative to assist in post-pandemic recovery of ALBA member countries as well as the fight against the adverse effects of climate change,” it continued.

PM Browne is reported to have criticised “the illegal” US trade embargo against Venezuela which indirectly affects Caribbean nations.

The Petro-Caribe initiative has helped to buffer the adverse effects of the fluctuations in oil prices on Caribbean countries which have benefited under this arrangement.

Under the initiative, beneficiary countries purchase oil from Venezuela at concessionary rates that are lower than the market prices.

They are also granted a grace period before payments are due.

Antigua and Barbuda has benefited significantly under this arrangement.

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