Petrocaribe, a regional oil procurement agreement between Venezuela and Caribbean member states, is back and Belize is among the beneficiaries of the revitalized program under President Nicolas Maduro. During Prime Minister John Brice�o's visit to the South American nation, President Maduro announced that Petrocaribe was being renewed and expanded to cover products, in addition to petroleum.

During the announcement, President Maduro said, "it is time to multiply happiness, work, wealth, humility and love, for the union of the Latin American and Caribbean peoples". On the other hand, Prime Minister Brice�o expressed gratitude and support for the cooperation between both nations, emphasizing that although Belize is a small country, it will continue to support Venezuela in any way possible. He also recognized the efforts of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for engineering the innovative initiative which has benefited Belize and many other countries.

During the meeting which was held at Miraflores Palace, the president's official residence in Caracas, a joint declaration was signed in which both political leaders committed to strengthening the close bonds of friendship and solidarity between their countries and respective peoples.

They also pledged to work together to finalize agreements for cooperation in trade, energy, tourism, communications, air connectivity, education, culture and housing. Of note is that while in opposition, the People's United Party was critical of the Petrocaribe program and the profligate spending of public funds by the Barrow administration.

Channel 5