— BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA

CARACAS, May 6 (BERNAMA-NNN-Xinhua) — Petrocaribe member states agreed to create a new economic zone and granted membership to Honduras and Guatemala at their 7th summit that ended here on Sunday.


Venezuela created Petrocaribe in 2005 to sell fuel to Latin American and Caribbean nations at cheaper prices and help finance their oil infrastructure projects.


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the planned economic zone for Petrocaribe member states and other regional blocs is designed to boost regional development by promoting joint investments in trade, tourism, industry, agribusiness and science.


Venezuela has also proposed the establishment of a permanent headquarters in Caracas for the Petrocaribe Secretariat.


In 2012, Venezuela supplied on average 108,000 barrels of oil a day to 14 Petrocaribe members, or 40 percent of their energy needs.


Speaking at the start of the meeting, Maduro said regional alliances such as Petrocaribe are growing stronger, despite attempts by the "international right wing" to sow division among Latin American countries.


"They look at us with absolute scorn, as if they would be happy to see Petrocaribe fall apart. But Petrocaribe is consolidating and growing stronger," said Maduro.


Petrocaribe now consists of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Venezuela.

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