Roseau, Dominica – March 26, 2008………Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit opened the doors of his office at the Financial Centre last week to welcome thirty-three(33) people from Venezuela-the first group to visit Dominica under the Social Tourism Programme.


The Social Tourism Programme is an initiative of the Government of Venezuela to strengthen ties between Venezuela and countries of Latin America and the Caribbean through exchange of their people.


The Programme is intended to allow Venezuelan citizens to discover and enjoy the natural, cultural and social environment of Dominica.


In his interaction with the Venezuelans, the Prime Minister underscored the importance of “people to people exchanges” in the promotion of peace throughout the world and reminded them that they are “ambassadors for peace for their country throughout the world.”


Dominica established diplomatic relations with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in 1979 and was the very first country to establish a permanent mission in Dominica.


The Prime Minister told the young people that the relationship between Dominica and Venezuela had “deepened and broadened” since Mr Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela.


“We have a love, affection and affinity for the people of Venezuela,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated.


Meanwhile the Prime Minister called on the visiting Venezuelans to enjoy Dominica, its hot springs and spoke of his government’s thrust in nature tourism.


The first group spent seven (7) days in Dominica and went around the island and visited a number of Dominica’s attractions, including the Emerald Pool, the Kalinago Barana Aute, Trafalgar Falls among scenic spots.


Venezuela’s Ambassador, Her Excellency, Carmen Martinez de Grijalva accompanied the group to the Prime Minister’s Office.


The Venezuelans were clearly excited by their interaction with the Dominican leader and were particularly pleased when the Prime Minister posed for pictures with them.


The first group of Venezuelans arrived on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 on Venezuelan Airline CONVIASA. The trips to Dominica will be held on a weekly basis and have the full support and cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism in Dominica.


The second group of twenty (20) arrived yesterday, March 25, 2008.

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