(Photo Caption: President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.)
Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 18, 2015 (SKNIS)—President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, His Excellency Nicolas Maduro, is among a long list of ambassadors, commissioners and other top officials who are expected to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of independence on September 19 with the Government and People of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
President Maduro is expected to arrive in the Federation on the eve of independence and will be met at the Robert Llewelyn Bradshaw International Airport by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, senior government officials, dignitaries and the media.
While in St. Kitts, President Maduro is expected to have an official luncheon and bilateral talks, attend the Independence Day parade at Warner Park and participate in the handing over ceremony of compensation cheques for former sugar workers at the Sugar Workers Restoration Fund (SWRF) Secretariat.
It is the first time that President Maduro, the successor of the late President Hugo Chavez, who died on March 5, 2013, will visit St. Kitts and Nevis. On June 11, 2009, the late Chavez chaired the 6th PetroCaribe Summit at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. President Maduro has continued the initiatives of his predecessor.
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to have a long-standing bilateral and fraternal relationship with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The Federation has benefited tremendously from Venezuela through the PetroCaribe agreement which was started by the late Chavez and signed by St. Kitts and Nevis in 2005. Petrocaribe is an oil alliance programme with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential treatment that has channeled billions of dollars’ worth of cheap oil to countries across Central America and the Caribbean, benefiting as many as over 70 million people. This makes Venezuela the region’s biggest oil alliance of all time with some 18 countries that have signed on to the PetroCaribe agreement.
Earlier this year, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela gave a grant of EC$16 million to facilitate the last tranche of a compensation package to former sugar workers who were bereft of their reward since the sugar industry closed in 2005. The compensation package was paid to over 1800 former sugar workers on the eve of Independence today.
Also, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis signed on September 4, 2015, a loan agreement with Venezuela for US$5 million to assist persons interested in setting up small and medium size businesses.
Other officials that will be in St. Kitts and Nevis for the independence celebrations include His Excellency (H.E.) Ariel Fernandez, Non-Resident Ambassador of Argentina; Mr. Colin Dick, Deputy British High Commissioner; Mikael Barford, European Union (EU) Ambassador; Mr. Mordehai Bivas, Israeli Ambassador; H.E. Mitsuhiko Okada, Ambassador Designate of Japan accompanied by Mrs. Mari Okada, his wife, and Ms. Miyuki Shinoe, Second Secretary; Mohammed Benjilany, Ambassador of Morocco accompanied by Mrs. Lucie De Angelis, his wife; H.E. Vladimir Polenov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation; H.E. Larry Palmer, United States Ambassador and Ms. Julie Limoges, Second Secretary/Vice Consul; Honourable Park Jung Oh, Counselor of Republic of Korea and Ms. Maria Eugenia Rosaria, Economic Political Cultural Assistant; Mr. Philippe Seigneurin, Deputy Head of Mission of France; Mrs. Jan Henderson, New Zealand High Commissioner and Rachael Pringle, Second Secretary; H.E. John Akologu Tia, Ghana’s High Commissioner to St. Kitts and Nevis and Mr. Emmanuel Andoh; H.E. Lutz Gorgens, Ambassador of Germany; Ms. Nalini Lachance, Acting Chancellor of Canada; H.E. Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno, Ambassador of Mexico; H.E. Anthony Severin, OECS Ambassador; and the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
The 32nd anniversary of independence is celebrated under the theme “United in Building a Stronger Nation.”