Venezuela's capabilities in energy are far beyond any other country in the hemisphere and rivals those of any country in the world. However, Venezuela and PDVSA also realize that the benefits associated with the natural resources of the developing world can no longer flow in only one direction. We are committed to putting our oil revenues to work for all of our people. We are realistically, and systematically, tackling the problems of our country and other Latin American countries, in which economic inequalities have long been the dominant and heartbreaking aspect of society. PDVSA is directly spending billions of dollars to fund sorely needed education, medical and poverty-reduction programs throughout Venezuela and Latin America.
Beyond our borders, as part of the effort to eliminate the devastating impact of the asymmetries of energy consumption in our hemisphere, Venezuela has been a leader in creating a program for Caribbean nations, among the poorest in the world, known as Petrocaribe. Through this program, Venezuela is providing these countries affordable oil at market prices through the use of generous financing terms and helping these countries to upgrade their energy supply and distribution infrastructures.
Venezuela is also fostering greater integration among all Latin American countries to meet the energy needs of the region. Low-cost oil supplies are being provided to the continent through programs such as Petroandina and Petrosur. In addition, plans have been initiated to construct a 6,200-mile natural gas pipeline from Venezuela all the way to Argentina and to integrate already existing pipelines throughout South America to make the region more self-reliant and environmentally friendly and to permit our countries to work more closely together.
The United States can continue to look only inward in a self-defeating effort to achieve a chimerical "energy security." Or, it can rethink its foreign policy with respect to Latin America. It is a fool's errand for the United States to try to gain "energy independence" for itself. Simply put, it is impossible. Energy independence within the hemisphere can be achieved, however...
By Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States
June 16, 2007
Excerpt from report:
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