Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has offered TT help in controlling the drug trade, as well as initiating the possibility for increased non-energy trade between the two neighbours, as he and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley signed off on the Dragon gas deal on Saturday in Caracas.
“Together with TT, we are giving an example to the world in building bilateral brotherhood relations. Latin America and the Caribbean have everything to become a great scientific, energetic and cultural power. A region united and in peace!” Maduro said in a speech following the signing ceremony of the Dragon-Gas Deal.
The Dragon deal, he said, was one that was settled peacefully and the collaboration between TT and Venezuela is a positive message for the region. “We must cultivate the relations of good neighbours and brotherhood. We must overcome neocolonialism and slavery if we want a region of peace,” he said.
Maduro also encouraged trade in other products that Venezuela could offer TT, including rum, coffee, cocoa, fish and shrimp. TT also has goods Venezuela needs, he said, and gave directives to governors from various states to go to TT to improve trade relations.
Venezuela, TT and the rest of the Caribbean were also victims of narcotrafficking, he said, with Venezuela clearing up to 2,200 kilometres along the border with Colombia dismantling laboratories and drug operations. “We have experience in the fight and we can help. We are engaged in a safe Eastern Caribbean, drug-free, terrorism-free, free of criminal gangs. We can achieve this through joint operations and exchanging experiences,” he said.
The Caribbean and Venezuela shared a very important space, he said, united by history, geography, geology, and geopolitics. “It is our Caribbean. We are Caribbean South Americans. We continue to move in the right direction with this energy association,” he said.