From Prime Minister Dean Barrow's Independence Day speech
We continue to pour the concrete so as to keep working that miracle of countrywide infrastructural transformation which we have engineered. Nothing has been more central to that effort than Venezuelan's PetroCaribe initiative. This saw us source fuel from Venezuela and in turn enjoy handsome price rebates that served as long term, super concessionary loans. That funding paid for hundreds of miles of streets, drains, bridges and culverts, resulting in the remarkable transformation and beautification to which we bear witness everyday. It paid, as well, for a multitude of sporting facilities, of which there is none more impressive than the new Belize City Center. That 30 million dollar complex is one to treasure: not just as an arena for our volleyball and basketball exploits, but as physical and architectural testament to our enduring friendship for, and lasting gratitude to, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
At the end of last week, however, we announced the suspension of the PetroCaribe fuel and financing arrangement. This had to do with a number of issues which had led to unreliability of supply and forced us to engage in last minute, higher cost, alternative fuel purchases on the spot market. The resulting increases in prices to the consumer at the pump, was what obliged us to move.
As soon as we did this, though, Venezuela informed that it was sending a high level delegation to Belize, with a direct mandate from President Maduro to fix the problem. That mission came, met with me on Tuesday, and agreed to new arrangements that guarantee reliability of supply and filling by Venezuela of all our fuel orders. Shipments will thus restart next month, PetroCaribe will "roll it" once more, and we thank the Bolivarian Republic for their fidelity to this enterprise.
Love News has confirmed with a high government official that PetroCaribe is back on track. According to our source, the Venezuelan delegation met with Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow yesterday and it is safe to say that the suspension is expected to be lifted pretty soon. The delegation left today and we understand that the Prime Minister will refer to this latest update during his official Independence Day address in Belmopan. As we had reported, Alba Petrocaribe Limited had decided to suspend all importation of petroleum products from Venezuela under the Petrocaribe agreement. According to Alba Petrocaribe, the company Petr�leos de Venezuela had become unreliable in maintaining a reliable supply of products. The Government had warned that because of the suspension, another source of petroleum products will be tapped into. That source comes from El Salvador, which led to the increase of regular and diesel gasoline yesterday. We understand that a shipment of premium gasoline is on its way which will cause an increase in the price of premium gasoline in the coming days.