President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, who died last Tuesday, has been described as a friend of Belize under the government of both major political parties. One of his initiatives from which Belize has benefited the most is the PetroCaribe deal to sell oil at concessionary rates and use profits for social projects. There were doubts that the project would continue after his passing but these have been resolved.
Dean Barrow Ė Prime Minister:
I just came back Tuesday, so I have not had a chance to be debriefed by [the Deputy Prime Minister]. The Deputy Prime Minister had in previous meetings become a fast friend of Nicolas Maduro, when Maduro was Foreign Minister. So I believe thatís a relationship that we can build on. Thereís that personal aspect of it. But Iím happy to learn that thereís been a formal official reassurance that the programme will continue. Of course, Maduro has to win the elections that come up in thirty days.
Nicolas Maduro will be running against Henrique Capriles of the opposition in that election.