ALBA secretary general visits

Acting Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre with the ALBA Secretary general and the Venezuelan Ambassador, accompanied by another ALBA official, following their exploratory discussions.

On Tuesday, 6th March 2012, Ambassador Rodolfo Sanz, Secretary General of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA), headed an official delegation comprising key members of the ALBA Secretariat and Ms María Andreina Colmenares, Coordination Manager of PDV Caribe, which visited Saint Lucia as part of a working tour of the region.
Ambassador Sanz and the members of the visiting delegation, accompanied by Venezuela’s Ambassador to St Lucia Eduardo Alfonzo Barranco Hernández, met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport, Philip J Pierre.
The Deputy Prime Minister, who was also Acting Prime Minister, was accompanied by officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation.
Among matters discussed were the possible implementation of various social projects and programmes within the framework of ALBA and Petrocaribe, geared towards the advancement of social justice and the attainment of the Millennium Goals throughout the region.
The visit by the ALBA official followed on the heels of expressions of interest by St Lucia in joining the Petrocaribe initiative, which is already being subscribed to by several Caricom member-states. St Lucia has long indicated interest in Petrocaribe. In late 2006, a Petrocaribe delegation visited St Lucia and met then Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, who indicated St Lucia’s interest in joining Petrocaribe to ease the burdensome and increasing cost of fuel to the island’s electricity services and the population generally.
Dr Anthony immediately upon his return to office late last year, rekindled the island’s interest in Petrocaribe. He publicly declared St Lucia’s position during the December 2011 meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations (CELAC) in Caracas. He has also repeated this position in subsequent interviews at home and abroad. During the discussions in Castries, the Acting Prime Minister reiterated that while St Lucia will be proceeding with Petrocaribe, no decision has been taken as yet by the island’s Cabinet about joining ALBA.
The Caribbean tour by the top ALBA official also included stops in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba.

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