Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Petro-Caribe Agreement

A sister blog posted this article which i thought makes for good reading. Below is the article:
SOME of the weaknesses and strengths of the
PetroCaribe agreement were highlighted during a
recently hosted panel discussion and forum. Weighing in on the topic, lecturer in the
Department of Government, Sociology and Social
Work at the Cave Hill campus, Kai-Ann Skeete,
suggested that some of the benefits outlined in the
agreement include an appropriate or suitable
means of integration as small developing countries and the provision of social assistance. She said it
also generates additional savings for countries and
deepens and widens Caribbean integration. On the other hand, some of the weaknesses
include the potential to endanger the private
sector; Venezuelan dominance, which was seen in
Guyana; and the potential to divide CARICOM. "Barbados produces approximately 1 000 bpd
and has an arrangement with Trinidad and
Tobago to refine the oil. Therefore, Barbados
refused to sign on to the PetroCaribe as it could
affect its relations with Trinidad, which affords
Barbados a preferential supply," she said. She also suggested that purchasing oil at cheap er
a cost could be more harmful if not manage d
efficiently. Skeete told the large audience in the Errol Barrow
Centre for Creative Imagination that CARICOM
Member States should indicate their intention to
CARICOM and what they would like to achieve from
joining the treaty agreement, the Bolivarian
Alliance for the People of our Americas (ALBA). ALBA is an international cooperation organisation
based on the idea of the social, political and
economic integration of the countries of Latin
America and the Caribbean. The nine member
countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba,
Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela and St. Lucia. She stated: "It is duly recommended that if other
CARICOM states wish to integrate and accept the
principles of ALBA, it is necessary to negotiate
within CARICOM on the terms to ensure that our
national interests will not be compromised. "There is a need for a CARICOM-wide collective
agreement to assist Member States in achieving the
collective gains of these strategic partnerships and
alliance formations such as the ALBA." The lecturer recommended that the ALBA secure its
future with CARICOM by assisting the region in
achieving its development goals and visions.
"Therefore, if the ALBA-Caribe continues to be
implemented as planned, it could offer to the
Caribbean more than what CARICOM currently offers as it goes beyond the economic realm and
focuses in-depth on the social rights of citizens." Skeete explained that ALBA is novel in trade
agreements as it is not the typical commercially
driven agreement, because it is based on the
principles of complementarity as an alternative to
competition; solidarity as opposed to domination;
cooperation as a replacement for exploitation; and respect for sovereignty rather than corporate rule. She added that ALBA is implemented through
government-to-government agreements and not
treaties as in trade agreements, and it is a bartering
type of arrangement where a country has the
option of paying with other goods and services
such as sugar, bananas etc. (JH)

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