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Look to Chavez

The panelists at today’s discussion.

The Venezuelan Presidential elections are impending and leader of the People’s Empowerment Party, David Comissiong, is putting all his support behind President Hugo Chavez.

At the Venezuelan Cultural Institute in Hastings, Christ Church, this morning Comissiong was among a panel to celebrate World Solidarity Day. They were: St. Michael South East MP Hamilton Lashley, Trevor Prescod of the Israel Lovell Foundation, David Denny of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, John Howard of African Repatriations Inc., Vice President of the Clement Payne Movement, Edson Crawford and Rosita Broome.

Comissiong encouraged others too, to support the Venezuelan leader as he said that Caribbean countries all had a “vested interest in the success of a Latin American revolution”.

“We in the English speaking Caribbean will have to look more and more to the nations of Latin America. Brazil is now the fifth largest economy in the world. We have a vested interested in the continued development under the leadership of President Hugo Chavez. And that is why it is so important for us to say to Chavez, ‘You have our best wishes for your continued good health, you have our support and solidarity in the political process that you are involved in your election campaign and we want you to know that we (the Clement Payne Movement) support the objectives and principles of your people’s revolution and we are there for you,” he said.

Lashley as well agreed with Comissiong’s support of Chavez in the October 7 elections. He said that because many Caribbean economies were under severe pressure, they should adopt the model that has been used in Venezuela successfully. He encouraged policy makers to bring the model to Barbados to give Barbadians ease.

One such element of the Venezuelan model was the Petro Caribe agreement. Comissiong explained that if signed, the agreement could bring immediate ease to Barbadians.

“Under the Petro Caribe, Caribbean countries would be able to reduce their immediate petroleum bill by approximately 50 per cent and to defer the other 50 per cent for payment over a 25 year period at a nominal interest rate of

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