Trinidad and Tobago is now providing the majority of Guyana’s fuel, in the wake of ongoing uncertainty about supplies from economically ruined Venezuela which has been increasingly aggressive over its claim to the Essequibo region and this country’s oil-rich Atlantic waters.
It is understood that the twin island nation was the sole main fuel provider until the lucrative PetroCaribe, oil-for rice deal wooed the majority of Caribbean countries to diversify their fuel source.
Guyana has however returned to the Caribbean nation which provides half of the country’s daily fuel needs since Venezuela now seems unwilling.
Venezuela is currently claiming one third of Guyana’s territory and the relationship between the two countries continues to deteriorate. So much so that several weeks ago, a Guyanese vessel was turned away when it went to uplift fuel and, likewise the Spanish-speaking nation allegedly, did not accept Guyana’s rice.
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said Monday August 31 that, “We have not bought fuel from them (Venezuela) in the last two months.” He said however, that does not mean the PetroCaribe deal is out the window.
The Minister said that discussions are ongoing with the oil-rich twin-island Caribbean nation. He said that is so because, “no country could be run on uncertainty with an item as necessary as fuel.” He indicated, in relation to this matter, that it would be careless for a government not to solidify its fuel sources then to hear from a supplier that there is none or that it is short. “You might not be able to get another source in such a short time.”
The Minister could not say whether fuel will be purchased from Venezuela anytime soon, indicating that that would be in the ambit of foreign affairs.
President Granger during a recent visit to the Trinidad spoke with its Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar about fuel services and partnership since Guyana is now poised to become a major fuel producer in the Caribbean alongside T&T. Demerara Waves understands however, that Trinidad is a long time fuel source of Guyana since it never severed ties with the country, being skeptical to make Venezuela is only fuel provider.
Some experts believe that the Spanish- speaking neoigbour has been ‘bought’ out the majority of Caribbean countries with attractive fuel prices and low interest payments. The process involves a delayed payback period and some exchange of an agreed commodity.
The 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) and the International community have involved in quelling the spat between the two nations.
United Nations officials recently arrived in Guyana to find explore another option of settling the border controversy initiated by Venezuela in the 1960s, about 60 years after the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal made an award that this former British colony still regards as the ful, final and perfect settlement of the land boundary.