St. Kitts and Nevis and The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Celebrate 35 Years of Diplomatic Relations

Left to right: Foreign Minister Brantley; Charge d’affaires Jose Olavarria; and Sir Tapley
Basseterre, St. Kitts, Oct 30, 2018– At a Cocktail held at the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of  Venezuela, on Friday, October 26, 2018, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela celebrated the 35th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. St. Kitts and Nevis and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela established diplomatic relations on October 31, 1983.

Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Mr. Jose Antonio Olavarria, highlighted the excellent bilateral relations characterized “cordiality and understanding for years” and that “St. Kitts and Nevis is a fundamental partner to Venezuela”. He informed that Venezuela takes great pride in contributing to the development of the country. He advised that this is demonstrative in the fact that Venezuela’s two most recent Presidents, both visited the Federation.

Mr. Olavarria stated that the relations acquired “a new dimension and the levels of cooperation and friendship became deeper”, after the election of the late President Commander Hugo Chavez Frias in 1999. This was as a result of the introduction of new integration schemes, which include the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America -People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA -TCP), the Energy Agreement of PetroCaribe, as well as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), from which the Federation has benefitted  immensely. Acknowledging the importance of relationships, the Charge d’affaires recalled the word of the Liberator Simon Bolivar, declaring “Unity does everything, and therefore we must preserve this precious principle”.

The Charge d’affaires also underscored the positive impact the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation has had on nationals and advised that during the upcoming year, dance classes will be introduced, coupled with other creative cultural initiatives.

Foreign Minister Brantley, thanked the Government of Venezuela for not only being a diplomatic partner, but also for being a true friend to the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis. Brantley also praised Venezuela for being one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Federation, a mere six weeks after the country had attained Independence. He lauded Venezuela for having helped the Federation in many areas of socio-economic development.

Brantley listed a few areas, stating , “ several nationals received tertiary training in Venezuela in Farm Administration, scores of nationals were transported to Cuba by Venezuelan aircrafts  to receive eyecare treatment, sixty (60) two bedroom condominium style houses are currently being constructed at Wellington Road through financing from PetroCaribe, many entrepreneurs have been able to start up and or expand their business through the Fresh Start Program financed by a Venezuelan loan, and today former sugar workers are very happy, having received their outstanding gratuities, thanks to a check from the Government of Venezuela in the sum of EC 16 million dollars.”

The event was attended by high ranking dignitaries including His Excellency the Governor General, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, GCMG, CVO, JP, QC, Hon. Sen. Akilah Byron -Nisbett, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation and the Venezuelan Embassy.

Mrs. Sonia Boddie-Thompson, Foreign Service Officer and Desk Officer for Venezuela in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, chaired the proceedings.