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Belize agrees with Venezuela to reduce its debt under PetroCaribe

Saint John, Dec. 13 The Government of Belize negotiated a reduction of more than 250 million dollars in the debt with Venezuela under the PetroCaribe initiative, a regional agreement for the acquisition of oil.

The Prime Minister of Belize, John Briceño, informed Parliament that this will result in a decrease of between 6 and 7 percent in the relationship between debt and gross domestic product, according to the official statement released on Tuesday.

“I am happy to announce another decisive step in our campaign to reverse the fiscal and debt crisis left to us by the United Democratic Party government,” Briceño told lawmakers.

He also explained that when Belize is able to pay Venezuela, it will return that reduced amount and will do so from the date of a new agreement on the original terms provided in PetroCaribe, which has an interest rate of 2 percent with a repayment period of 25 years.

PetroCaribe is a regional oil acquisition agreement between Venezuela and several Caribbean countries that was founded in 2005, during the presidency of the late Hugo Chávez.

The program was suspended in 2019 due to US sanctions on Venezuela and the decline in oil production in the South American country, among other reasons.

However, in recent months, several Caribbean countries have indicated that Caracas has been offering new oil deals under PetroCaribe.

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