ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has praised the relationship between his country and Venezuela adding that he hopes the ailing Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez makes a full recovery so that he could continue his work of deepening regional integration.
Speaking at a ceremony on Monday night in honour of outgoing Venezuelan ambassador Carmen Martinez de Grijalva, the prime minister said the relationship Roseau has enjoyed with Caracas under Chavez goes beyond “just government to government.
“There has also been a personal relationship, a relationship of friendship, a relationship of love, a relationship of affection and we continue to pray for his improvement and that he could get back to the management of the affairs of Venezuela and continue his fostering of closer bilateral relations between Dominica and Venezuela”.
Skeerit said what would also be critically important is Chavez’s role in “fostering the integration of the Caribbean and Latin America because Latin America region has always been elusive in so far as closer ties with the Caribbean and because of the leadership and vision of President Chavez we have seen closer ties in large measure between the Caribbean and Latin America.”
Chavez, who won another term as president is now in Cuba recovering from an operation for cancer and Skerrit said he was “looking forward to him returning to provide leadership and guidance”.
Prime Minister Skerrit said Dominicans from all walks of life would all agree that the existing relations between Roseau and Caracas “is at an all time high where we have seen increased cooperation between our countries, also at the multilateral level through PetroCaribe and ALBA.
Under PetroCaribe, Venezuela provides oil at concessionary rates to Caribbean countries, while the ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the People’s of Our Americas is an international cooperation organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“These two instruments of cooperation were inaugurated under the guidance of Ambassador Carmen Martinez de Grijalva here in Dominica and one can recall the much debate these two instruments of integration received not only in Dominica, but the Caribbean and internationally.
“But we have all seen the benefits of these two instruments of cooperation to the entire world and the closer ties between Venezuela, Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said.
The outgoing diplomat said that the relationship between the two countries have grown over the 12 years of her posting here, adding “we have consolidated the relationship of consensus and participation”.
“We are now working to ensure a more just world with more solidarity,” she said.