Caribbean Special Report: Breaking a Habit
The Caribbean needs to find ways to break a dependency on oil as a means to fuelling growth. Ethanol and biofuels could be an alternative.
by Julio Urdaneta
Like many emerging regions, the Caribbean depends heavily on
oil and gas to fuel growth. With high prices on world markets,
the region finds itself at risk of jeopardizing development.
There is a huge need to increase power generation, just
to meet expanding needs, says Felipe Esguerra, associate
director of energy derivatives at Scotiabank.
Venezuela launched the Petrocaribe initiative in June 2005
aimed at facilitating oil purchases by its members. Almost all
of the Caribbean countries, including Cuba and some CentAm
nations as Belize, Honduras and Guatemala are part of the
scheme, whose loose financing terms, based on trade of
agricultural goods and services for oil, have drawn
Opponents say it is a political weapon of Hugo Chavez of more
benefit to Venezuela than other countries. Oil and gas
producers Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago do not
Venezuela supplied Petrocaribe members with 85,900 barrels
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