Roseau, Dominica – January 24, 2008……………….. Dominica has received grant financing and technical assistance as well as scholarships valued in excess of $100 million ECD from the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the last two years.
This information was revealed by Minister for Housing, Lands and Telecommunications,
Hon. Reginald Austrie at a news conference on Tuesday.
The Minister was at the time responding to criticisms levelled at the Venezuelan Government on a local radio station.
According to Hon. Austrie, the monies received from Venezuela in the last two years have been invested in the Melville Hall Air Access Enhancement Programme, the agricultural sector, housing, national security, tourism, as well as in human resource development.
· $27 million ECD for earth movement and river diversion at Melville Hall Airport
· $29.4 million for Housing Revolution
· $12 million for Soufriere-Scottshead Sea Defence project
· $23.2 million for construction of river wall and sea wall at Melville Hall
· $8 million for National Security
· Initial amount of $8 million for the agricultural sector
· Scholarships for 80 Dominicans studying at various universities across Venezuela
· $8 million for the Carib Territory
“On behalf of the Dominican people, on behalf of the Government of Dominica, we need to thank the Venezuelan government and the Venezuelan people through the Ambassador for having stood by our side in very difficult times and having made significant financial and technical commitments and support to the people and Government of this country,” Hon Reginald Austrie said.
Hon. Austrie took the opportunity to apologise to the Government and people of Venezuela on behalf of the Government of Dominica for some of the negative criticisms directed at the Government of the South American country in recent times.
“So to sit here in Dominica and criticise the Venezuelan government and people I think it is shameful and I want to apologise to the Venezuelan government for the tongue-lashing that it received and continues to receive from some of our Dominican citizens,” Hon. Austrie concluded. (Ends)