Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Hugo Chavez’s Demise Results in Economic Downfall for Caribbean Countries

The death of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has put all the seventeen Caribbean countries in a state of shock and panic. These countries have been strongly predicted to undergo a heightened era of economic uncertainty on such a big loss. Out of the 17 Caribbean nations, twelve of them are members of the Caribbean Community, Caricom. In fact, they have become highly dependent on PetroCaribe, the part-payment loan scheme, in regard to their oil supplies from Venezuela. Without it, they would never be able to come out of their worsening economic circumstances.

Image Source: Starmedia.com
It was found that out of a total of $14-billion worth of oil, almost $5.8 billion comprised as long-term financing provided by Venezuela to the seventeen dependent nations under PetroCaribe. Although Cuba stands as the principal beneficiary, a good number of Cariciom countries especially Jamaica are also considered to be among the beneficiaries in terms of per capita.

Venezuela almost entirely finances the ALBA Caribe Fund and ALBA Food Fund which are no doubt significant contributions towards the welfare of the beneficiary states. In the last six years till 2012, the ALBA Caribe Fund had invested around$179 million for a total of 88 projects ranging from water to education. On the other hand, the ALBA Food Fund invested a total of $24 million for twelve projects.

Chavez had a good number of personal projects. Although he carried along his government, he had his own ideas, and the strategies to execute them were also designed by him. In fact, he had always desired to supervise over the dependent Caribbean nations out of his passion to stop the US companies as well as the US government from exercising their influences in Latin America. He was rather genuinely concerned about the sufferings of the poor living in these countries and hence wanted to improve their situations at any cost.

Hugo Chavez introduced a comprehensive literacy policy with the intention to widen access to education and double the enrolment figures in the universities. Moreover, the number of old citizens drawing pension had gone up today to four times more than what it used to be earlier. Chavez was successful in accomplishing these social reforms while sustaining the overall scenario of the economy. At present, the Caribbean nations are experiencing constant fluctuations as per their current economic records. This is one of the reasons why students, businessmen and even holiday makers are not feeling confident in travelling to any of those seventeen countries.

Since the full-time college and university enrolments have got a bit affected, students are trying online to get admitted in the Caribbean universities. Although the economic conditions of the Caribbean countries are sure to take control within a few months, the universities and colleges out there will probably not stop offering online courses to domestic as well as international students. The Caribbean citizens believe that the conditions both economically and academically will surely improve with the passage of time.

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