As the political crisis in Venezuela appears to be spinning out of control with daily demonstrations, some turning violent, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, says that the amount of oil Jamaica has received under the PetroCaribe agreement has significantly declined.
With the original quota being 23,000 barrels per day, Johnson Smith says that this has been reduced to close to 1,300 barrels per day.
“Production has reduced in Venezuela and, therefore, our imports from Venezuela have reduced as well proportionately,” Johnson Smith told journalists yesterday at the quarterly press briefing held at the ministry on Dominica Drive in New Kingston.
“We continue to work with PDVSA (the state-owned oil and natural gas company in Venezuela), through a joint-venture agreement, which remains in place at this point in time.”
The minister said that the Government has been seeking other sources on the world market to fill the gap.
She pointed out that Cabinet appointed a special committee last week to review matters related to the PetroCaribe arrangement and trade with Venezuela. A report will be presented to Cabinet at its next meeting.
Pressure has been mounting on Venezuelan president Nicol·s Maduro to resign, with critics charging that he is moving towards a dictatorship.
At the same time, Maduro has hit back, saying that the opposition has conspired with foreign entities, including the United States, to destabilise the country.