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Bill to acquire PDV Caribe shares in Petrojam to be tabled at next sitting of House

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government is to table a Bill entitled, an 'Act to Provide for the Compulsory Acquisition of the Shares Held by PDV Caribe in Petrojam and for Connected Matters', at the next sitting of the House of Representatives.

This is part of efforts to retake ownership of the 49 per cent shares in Petrojam, which are held by the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDV) Caribe.

Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo Forte, made the disclosure during the sitting of the House yesterday in response to a motion moved by Opposition Spokesperson on Science and Technology, Julian Robinson.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, recently announced the Government's intention to use legislative means to retake ownership of the 49 per cent shares in Petrojam, which is held by the Venezuelan company.

Malahoo Forte informed that the Legislation Committee of the Cabinet has already reviewed the Bill.

“Regrettably, all the steps in the process prior to tabling were not complete in time. During the debate on the Bill, the prime minister, as chairman of the Cabinet, will discharge Cabinet's collective responsibility to the Parliament for the policy decision to compulsorily acquire the shares, as will be reflected in the proposed law,” she explained.

The attorney general emphasised that Jamaica remains open to an amicable solution, but the decision is being taken in the national interest and for energy security and economic reasons. Malahoo Forte also addressed Jamaica's decision to vote with 18 other members of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) not to recognise the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's second term as President of Venezuela.

She noted that the content of this resolution was consistent with the resolution adopted by the OAS General Assembly in June 2018.

“On that occasion, the Government in supporting the resolution, acknowledged that the fundamental values and principles, including maintenance of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy as well as non-intervention in the internal affairs of states, remain pertinent considerations. Like the several countries represented there, for us our interest has always and continues to be that of the well-being of the people of Venezuela,” the attorney general said.

Malahoo Forte added that Jamaica stands ready to lend any support that may be deemed helpful and that could facilitate renewed dialogue to alleviate the serious challenges facing Venezuela.

“Jamaica continues to support these principles. We continue to maintain the hope that dialogue will take place amongst the parties consistent with our position that the people of Venezuela should have the opportunity to resolve their various issues through dialogue at the national level. The vote was consistent with the principled position taken in Jamaica's foreign policy,” she pointed out.

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