Holness: Jamaica concerned about economic decline in Venezuela

(Jamaica Gleaner) Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica has been following, with concern, the political and economic developments in Venezuela, noting that this country will continue to be a voice of fairness and balance in the region.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro (left) talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness on arrival at Jamaica House yesterday morning
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro (left) talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness on arrival at Jamaica House yesterday morning

“We wish for social and political peace to prevail, for the greater good and welfare of all Venezuelans,” Holness said following bilateral talks with Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro at Jamaica House yesterday morning.

Maduro was in Jamaica on a one-day working visit.

“It is our belief that disputes should be resolved peacefully and diplomatically through dialogue, respect for democracy, rule of law and good governance,” Holness said.

There has been a series of protests in the South American country amid rising inflation and declining quality of life especially in the past five months.

“We look forward to a timely and amicable resolution, and a return to stability, for the good of the people of Venezuela,” Holness said. The Jamaican Prime Minister said, however, that both countries must continue to nurture relations of trust, so that through dialogue about all issues, creative solutions, can be developed guided by the very deep and effective relationship between Jamaica and Venezuela for decades.

The Office of the Prime Minister also  released a statement saying Prime Minister Holness and President Maduro  had “fruitful” discussions at Jamaica House in a bilateral meeting yesterday morning. “Our discussions were fruitful, and conducted in the spirit of the friendly relations that exist between both countries,” Holness said.

He also outlined the following as areas in which there were agreements following deliberations:

1) To improve trade, especially through arrangements under the PetroCaribe Agreement.  This initiative will be led by Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance and Public Service

2) An expedited agreement on the Refinery Upgrade Project which is mutually considered to be imperative to the economic development of Jamaica.

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