The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) asked the United States to lift sanctions on Venezuela so countries in the region can benefit from the PetroCaribbean oil initiative, which it has been trying to revive in recent months.
This was urged by the regional organization in a statement published this Friday after the summit between the leaders of its member states and US Vice President Kamala Harris the day before in the Bahamas.
CARICOM heads of government indicated that the end of sanctions would help PetroCarib restart and move forward in the exploitation of cross-border natural gas fields between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.
PetroCarib is an oil acquisition program between Venezuela and several Caribbean countries that was established in 2005 and suspended in 2019 due to US sanctions and a decline in Venezuelan oil production.
At the summit, Caribbean leaders also reiterated their customary call for the US to lift economic sanctions on Cuba.
CARICOM’s members are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
Other issues addressed at the summit were food security and firearms smuggling in the region, which mainly comes from the US.
According to the joint statement, they affirmed that food security must be prioritized as part of a broader engagement between the Caribbean and the Americas.
Another major theme of the summit was measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, on which Harris assured that “significant progress” has been made in cooperation between his country and the Caribbean region.