News Americas, PHILLIPSBURGH, St. Maarten, Fri. Jan. 20, 2012: Is Caribbean oil a building block to the future for the Caribbean?
Venezuela established Petrocaribe in June 29, 2005 to support and bring fairness to the trade of oil in the region and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ‘US pledges aid to end Caribbean dependency on foreign oil’ on April 16th, 2010 at the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA).
Looking at the statistics and data, one would say that most of the Caribbean nation leaders have clearly leaned to the support offered by Venezuela.
The building of a nation involves making long-term decisions that will possibly have an impact on the sustainability of that nation’s life experience and the economic burden that it is carrying. Cuba has made decisions that have placed it at the cross roads of a modern day marketing hub; the name ‘Cuba’ alone speaks volumes. The world oil tycoons are the Middle East and Venezuela and they wield the gavel of power internationally since they have the most oil reserves. Nevertheless, history is our teacher.
The Caribbean has owed its economic bliss to various export industries such as the salt industry, sugar industry, banana industry, aluminum industry, etc. for many decades. However, today, there is a battle waging for the communications and inter-island transport industries. This region is a place already plastered with mega resorts, mega cruise ships, mega oil tankers, mega yachts, mega oil refineries and terminals, mega container terminals, etc.
Caribbean oil has been in the Caribbean now for over a century and a half, starting in Trinidad from the year 1857. It is one of the Caribbean’s most successful commodities of regional and international trade.
Caribbean ‘Black’ Gold, as oil’s nickname goes, is one of the Caribbean’s most consistent natural recourses. Considering the list of inventions that have brought us to this point: the invention of Kerosene in 1846 by Abraham Gesner, the invention of the light bulb by Thomas Edison in 1879 to the perfection of the automobile in the early 1900’s these inventions along with many others have transformed the way we experience life as we know it.
Black gold can be considered as a building block to the future but it is not the only building block as illustrated bellow.
An example project that is being proposed on an island off of Haiti in the Caribbean by Global Renewable Energy, Ltd. is called ‘La Gonove.’ It is a twenty year project span with a 55 billion dollar investment proposal. La Gonave is intended to be a master planned sustainable green island community providing jobs and a regional experience.
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says: “So we have a lot we can do, and we have to get started.” And she told delegates: “Imagine a future in which instead of waiting for those oil tankers to come and dock, Caribbean nations are supplying each other with energy, whether it’s geothermal power from Dominica or gas from Trinidad…We know we’re spending too much money on energy.
“We know we’re not using the best forms of energy. We know we can create jobs with clean energy and energy efficiency. We just haven’t made the commitment and marshaled our resources to put us on that path.”
Caribbean oil is an example that has a legacy, yet the people of the Caribbean and the Caribbean as a whole together is one strong asset that is being probed on a daily basis. Seeing all these investments and the many long term plans will undoubtedly help to give the Caribbean nations a concrete perspective.
The writer is an architectural engineer, inventor and St. Maarten-born futurist.