President attends ALBA- PETROCARIBE Summit

Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the mechanisms of ALBA (the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of our America) and PETROCARIBE met this evening in Caracas in a Second combined Summit of ALBA-PETROCARIBE under the chairmanship of President Nicolas Maduro Moros, President of Venezuela.

The Summit addressed strengthening the institutional mechanisms governing the integration process of Latin America and the Caribbean.  In this regard, the Heads deliberated on the proposal for the establishment of a complementary economic zone among the countries of ALBA, PETROCARIBE, CARICOM and MERCOSUR, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a release.

President Donald Ramotar is attending this Summit and is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, and Guyana’s Ambassador to Venezuela, Geoffrey DaSilva.

Before the start of the summit, President Ramotar joined ALBA and PETROCARIBE Heads in paying homage to Liberator Simon Bolivar, 183 years after his death.

President Maduro said the regional bloc has risen above economic and political spheres to become a truly human integration mechanism. “PETROCARIBE has transcended the energy sphere, spreading out to economic, commercial, cultural, humanity and political areas,” he told journalists.

The creation of the exclusive economic zone was proposed by Maduro during the Summit of Heads of State of Alba, held in Guayaquil, Ecuador in July. Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda are all Alba members.

PETROCARIBE, formed in 2005, comprises Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Venezuela.

Meanwhile Surinamese Foreign Minister, Winston Lackin said that the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will join ALBA and PETROCARIBE in the mission of forming an economic zone and ensure food security in the region.

“As president pro tempore of UNASUR, I want to express that we will take this idea and we will send it to all members of the body,” Lackin said.

Suriname currently holds the pro- tempore presidency of UNASUR since August.

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