Let’s talk about Hugo Chavez.
Venezuelan despot in the making or friend of the region. Well we’ve all had our fill of the Petro Caribe deal. Barbados didn’t sign on and I agree with the Government on this one. Why?Lets see….
1. Venezuela still claims half of Guyana and Aves Rock (which will give them control over most of the Caribbean Sea) do we want to give a country with those claims control over a critical strategic resource? I don’t think we should.
2. No discounting going on here, the deal is just financing really. That debt’s got to show up somewhere. How does that affect our ability to access capital markets. Maybe we need to think about this a little.
3. Our good friend Hugo wants to get into a pissing match with the US. Why should we ask to be put in the middle of that pissfest? If it escalates (from either side) the Caribbean can only suffer by being even tangentially involved.
4. Chavez isn’t universally loved in Venezula. Let’s just say that the country has an “inconsistent” relationship with democracy. Yes he’s survived coups before, he may (or may not) continue to be lucky.
5. Finally the deal doesn’t make enconomic sense. Not for Venezula, not for the country on the receiving end. Those bills have to be paid, Venezula is sooner or later going to ask “Why are we subsidising these little rocks? What do we get for that?” and when they do ask that question either they will STOP subsidising the rocks, or they’ll start to call shots. Kiss ur independence goodbye.
I remain deeply concerned that much of the Caribbean has signed onto this crap, and I really really wonder when he who pays the piper will start to call the tune.
Agree? Disagree? Do you even care?