Region should collectively reach out to Venezuela


Jamaica continues to receive significant benefit from the PetroCaribe Fund. Quite recently, it was reported that several Jamaican students will receive scholarships totalling $30 million from this fund.

The PetroCaribe agreement has been described as one of the finest examples of political collaboration in Jamaica’s history. Jamaicans have benefited directly in a number of areas, namely: education, funding to the Students’ Loan Bureau, grants to finance projects aimed at improving the lives and welfare of the poor and vulnerable in our society. Indirectly, the agreement has stabilised our economy mainly with our balance of payments and exchange rate.

However, while Jamaica earns, Venezuela burns. Following the drastic reduction in world oil prices, and with oil accounting for approximately 90 per cent of Venezuela’s exports, the Venezuelan economy has seen an unprecedented economic meltdown. The latest economic reports show inflation in 2016 reaching 800 percent and is expected to rise even higher. The country is now short on food and medical supplies.

Venezuela was a…