Search

 

Cablegate: Petrocaribe Still Alive, Might Aid Fisheries

VZCZCXRO4179
OO RUEHGR
DE RUEHPO #0018 0161937
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161937Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9911
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHAO/AMCONSUL CURACAO 1220
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1646
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS PARAMARIBO 000018

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR WHA/CAR JROSHOLT; WHA/EPSC, EB/ESC/IEC/ENR, INR FOR
BCARHART

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BBSR ECON EPET VE NS

SUBJECT: PETROCARIBE STILL ALIVE, MIGHT AID FISHERIES

REF: 05 PARAMARIBO 602

1. (U) SUMMARY: The PetroCaribe deal is still an option for
Suriname, the Minister of Natural Resources told the press on
January 9. The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and
Fisheries told the press on January 10 that the deal would assist
the fisheries sector, which has been severely affected by rising
fuel costs. END SUMMARY

2. (U) Minister of Natural Resources Gregory Rusland told the
press on January 9 that the PetroCaribe deal is still an option for
Suriname. Implementation of the deal had stalled when the
Government, most notably the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the
Central Bank of Suriname, refused to provide a state guarantee of
payment. Rusland told the press, "I'm about ready to say I'm not
going to talk about the deal anymore until I see a ship off of
Suriname with oil products. But I have to tell you that we're also
making progress on this matter... We're not giving up. And in
fact, if a moment comes in which we say we see no value in the
implementation, then we'd announce that too." When contacted by
Post for confirmation Jainoel Abdul, Permanent Secretary of the
Ministry of Natural Resources, would not comment, saying only the
Minister could confirm his remarks.

3. (U) Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and
Fisheries Kermechend Raghoebarsing told the press on January 10 he
is looking to the PetroCaribe deal as a "solution" to dealing with
costs in the fisheries sector. Fuel prices are the most important
component in the price of fish, and if fishermen have to pay market
prices for fuel, the sector is at risk of dying out, he warned.
Increasing competition from Guyanese and Venezuelan fishermen who
get their fuel in Venezuela at a lower rate and then fish illegally
in Surinamese waters is a danger to Suriname's fisheries sector.
Raghoebarsing identified this as a national security threat that has
contributed to the rise of a black market for fuel at sea as well as
an increase in piracy cases off Suriname's coast. (NOTE: To combat
these problems, Suriname implemented a vessel GPS registry system in
summer 2007 and conducted a maritime operation against pirates in
December 2007. END NOTE) Once Surinamese fishermen can purchase
fuel at the same rates as their Guyanese and Venezuelan
counterparts, the Minister said he expects the damage to the sector
to decrease.

4. (U) COMMENT: The dire warnings from Suriname's Agriculture
Minister track with those Post has heard from industry leaders. At
a luncheon hosted by the Ambassador on January 11 to take advantage
of the visit of the Turtle Excluder Device (TEDs) Inspection Team to
Suriname, the high cost of fuel was rated the top problem
confronting Suriname's fisheries industry today. It also impacts
government of Suriname (GOS) ability to patrol its territory, both
on land and at sea. Given these straightened circumstances,
Rusland's favorable comments with respect to PetroCaribe appear
understandable. Whether PetroCaribe would, in fact, be the panacea
the GOS hopes, remains open to debate. END COMMENT

SCHREIBER HUGHES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC