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Petrocaribe, a positive step for the region
Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2005
Staff Article

"Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning said his country also was willing, in principle, to share its oil but would like to analyse Chavez's proposal in greater detail because it could put his country at a competitive disadvantage."

The truth is we cannot depend on our Prime Minister Patrick Manning to take a right decision on anything. As a matter of fact, we can't depend on any of the present crop of politicians to see the big picture and make the decisions that will truly benefit the region.

Of course 'review the proposal' means consult the US. Our so-called terrorism bill was about the same thing; doing the bidding of the US at all costs. We have seen the history of that.

Of course the US backed analysts etc will make comments like this one:

"the agreements unveiled yesterday 'should not be seen from the standpoint of economic rationality, but rather from the broader perspective of Venezuela's aggressive foreign policy and attempts to increase its influence in the region'."

If this is so then so what?

It is not simply about Venezuela increasing its influence in the region. As far as I am concerned the region could do with a bit more of Chavez-type thinking as an influence. It is a matter of whether increased Venezuelan influence can benefit us as a whole region.

The US pushes its influence and muscles its way into the economies of so called 'third world' countries all the time and their influence benefits no one but themselves and their few selected cronies. Their arguments are just hypocrisy and fear on their parts that Bolivarian revolutionary thinking will empower a region that has long been the US's playground.

It is up to us as a people to put pressure on our governments to do the right thing.

We can't continue thinking like if we are subsidiary citizens of the United States of America. We should not continue to support ventures that only bring economic benefits to American corporations and the elite in our societies, ventures that were never in our best interest anyway.

Hats off to Chavez for putting forward this plan that can benefit the entire Caribbean region.

If he and his policies, that are more in line with bringing relief to the disadvantaged, can further influence the region, then that is a good thing.

We will see if Patrick Manning and Owen Arthur will continue being the US' puppy dogs!

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