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Venezuela says ALBA and PetroCaribe safe
CASTRIES—Venezuela says the current political unrest in the country poses no danger to the future of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA) and the oil initiative PetroCaribe.
Venezuela’s Ambassador to St Lucia, Leiff Escalona Barrueta, addressing a sod turning ceremony for a bridge building project funded through ALBA, said there were “concerns expressed by various communication professionals in the news media” regarding the two initiatives that Caracas has been using as a means of integrating Latin America and the Caribbean. The diplomat gave the assurance that the ALBA and PetroCaribe agreements would continue in “full force”.
ALBA, the brainchild of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, is based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and St Lucia are members of the grouping. Commenting on the anti-government demonstrations aimed at forcing the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, Ambassador Escalona dismissed the unrest as “an attempted coup d’etat.”
She said that despite a gradual return to calm, there had been an increase in the media campaign which her government has called “media terrorism.” Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony, who also addressed the ceremony, said the bridge would be called “ALBA Bridge” as a mark of gratitude to the Venezuela/Cuba sponsored Caribbean Latin American economic and social integration movement.