March 01, 2007
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has described as “very successful” his 90-minute meeting Wednesday afternoon with Venezuelan President His Excellency Hugo Chavez.
Dr. Douglas, who is heading a six-man delegation to Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, will also visit Cuba before returning home early next week.
Prime Minister Douglas said he and President Chavez discussed “wide ranging matters including assistance as St. Kitts and Nevis continues to move the economy away from sugar agriculture to tourism, hospitality and financial services.”
The St. Kitts and Nevis leader said the Venezuela President has agreed to assist the twin-island Federation in its housing programme.“We will continue our affordable housing programme and continue our commitment to create a home-owning society among the working class,” said Dr. Douglas in an interview with the Communications Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Dr. Douglas disclosed that the Government of Venezuela would also assist St.Kitts and Nevis in a skills training programme that will prepare young people to move into the services sector.
“The training will be in several areas including carpentry, masonry, air conditioning and refrigeration,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who is accompanied by Minister of Public Utilities, Works, Transport and Posts, Dr.the Hon. Earl Asim Martin; Chief Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade, local businessman, Mr. Gus Williams; Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr.Erasmus Williams and Communications Officer, Mr. Charles Jong.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Douglas, Minister Martin and Chief Secretary Edmeade are meeting with Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and other officials to work out a Memorandum of Understanding based on the discussions.
President Chavez greeted Prime Minister Douglas with a Red Carpet Welcome and a Guard of Honour at the Presidential Palace prior to the discussions.
Following the talks Prime Minister Douglas presented President Chavez with a painting of Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. President Chavez reciprocated by presenting a statue of Simon Bolivar.