US sanctions on Venezuela hurting Jamaica – Energy Minister

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Nov. 16, CMC – Energy Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley says the sanctions imposed on Venezuela by United States administration, have had a negative impact on Jamaica.
In a statement in Parliament earlier this week, Wheatley disclosed that over the past year Jamaica has been receiving “minimal or no crude products” from Venezuela, for the the government owned oil  refinery, Petrojam.
He said that based on this, the Andrew Holness led administration  is considering buying back Venezuela’s 49 per cent share Petrojam.
According to Wheatley, for over a year now Jamaica has not been receiving what it usually receives from Venezuela under the PetroCaribe agreement, as well as crude required for Petrojam.
In 2006, Government-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA), bought 49 per cent of the shares in the refinery from in Petrojam.
He said the executive order (EO 13808) issued by the US in August ,not only strictly restricted US citizens and entities from transactions involving the Government of Venezuela, and this included the  Central Bank of Venezuela and PdVSA, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela”.
He said due to EO 13808, payments to and from Petrojam have been subjected to increased due diligence by its primary financiers/suppliers of lines of credit.
In addition to the disruption/delay of transactions for Petrojam, sovereign debt payments due by the Government of Jamaica under the Caracas Agreement 2001 and various other loan agreements which were due and payable to the Government of Venezuela were being withheld by the US Federal Reserve Bank, and others, in order to facilitate their own due diligence process.
The PetroCaribe Energy Co-operation Agreement is a multifaceted arrangement, which commenced in 2005 seeking to promote energy security in the region, by guaranteeing supplies of petroleum products from Venezuela through an innovative repayment system.

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