Come October, the Venezuelan government will increase by up to 100 per cent the interest rate it charges under the Petrocaribe initiative, media reports say.
Petrocaribe is an initiative of deceased Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, which sees participating countries purchasing oil on conditions of preferential payment.
The initiative allows for participating nations, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
To purchase oils but only pay 5 to 50 per cent up front and the remainder over a period of up to 25 years at 1 per cent interest if oil prices are below US$40 per barrel.
Reports say that beginning in October, the interest rates will be increased to 2 to 4 per cent but could be lower for poorer nations.
I-Witness News is unaware of any statement by the Dr. Ralph Gonsalves administration on the development.
But in Jamaica, the announcement seems to have taken the government by surprise.
Both Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell and Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips were unable to comment Sunday beyond that they had not received any official information from Venezuela of any such increase, the Jamaica Observer reported.