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US on good terms with Dr. Gonsalves – US Chargé d’Affaires


The United States continues to maintain excellent relations with this country, despite St. Vincent and the Grenadines being a member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, or ALBA group of countries.{{more}}

Charge d’Affaires to the United States Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, Christopher Sandrolini told SEARCHLIGHT that the US looks with concern at Venezuela and some of what he termed “undemocratic activities” which take place in that country, but that was no reason for St Vincent and the Grenadines or any other Caribbean territory not to develop its own economic and political relations.

“There are a lot of reasons for the United States to have concerns with Venezuela, but we’re certainly not saying that St Vincent cannot develop its own economic and political relations in its own interest,” Sandrolini said in an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT recently.

He explained that there was some concern over what he termed “inflammatory statements” which had been made by Venezuela, which were worthy of caution.

One such being the recent statement that implied, but which Sandrolini said was not intended, support from ALBA affiliates such as St Vincent and the Grenadines for the argument over the Falkland Islands.

So while there are these types of inflammatory statements being made, the US official contended that there was an economic aspect to the relationship from which this country could benefit.

“Venezuela is an oil producer, and through Petro Caribe, this makes petroleum products available at discounted prices. This is important to any oil importing nation,” Sandrolini said.

He further contended that the US is on good terms with the Prime Ministers of all Eastern Caribbean States and more specifically with Vincentian Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

“But we do have our concerns. From our perspective, one has to take with a grain of salt some of the offers made from Venezuela,” he cautioned.

This country became the seventh member of ALBA in April 2009, and on September 7, 2005, it was one of the 12 (of 15) CARICOM member states to sign on to Petro Caribe. (DD)