Venezuela’s position as OPEC’s biggest producer in Latin America has allowed the administration of Hugo Chavez to provide energy resources to Caribbean and Central American countries as the cornerstone of its regional geopolitics and diplomacy policies that aim at strengthening ties with its allies. Through Petrocaribe, Venezuela offers oil to the member countries at preferential payment conditions.
Petrocaribe is an agreement for supply of Venezuelan oil on easy terms for the signatory countries. The bloc was founded in June 2005, after the Energy Cooperation Agreement was signed by 14 Caribbean nations. Today, this regional integration initiative gathers 18 countries.
According to the Minister of Petroleum and Mining, Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela’s state oil company Pdvsa currently covers around 43% of the Petrocaribe’s energy needs, shipping an equivalent to 95,000 barrels per day of by-products. Analysts claim that Venezuela is not in conditions of giving away its assets since current domestic conditions get worse every day. They also believe that the terms under which the shipments occur do not bring any profits to Venezuela.
The President of Haiti, Michel Martelly is one of the leaders of the region who has highlighted the benefits his country has received from Petrocaribe. According to the Haitian president, 20% of the energy consumed in the Caribbean country comes from two plants that Venezuela installed after his country was hit by an earthquake in 2010. Also, almost all the fuel consumed in Haiti comes from Venezuela.
Following a rise in its sales volumes, Petrocaribe has distributed about 178 million oil barrels since its creation in 2005, bringing in more than 2.7 billion dollars profit for its 18 member countries.