Jamaica’s Former Prime Minister Calls For Chavez Institution

Photo Credit: Jeffrey O. Gustafson.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey O. Gustafson.

According to Jamaica Observer, Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has called on signatories to the PetroCaribe Agreement to establish an institution of higher learning in honour of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Hugo Chavez, former President of Venezuela, died in March 2013. He was the chief architect of PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean States with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.

The alliance was launched on June 29, 2005 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.

Speaking at the 10th Anniversary Commemorative Summit of the PetroCaribe Agreement, Mr. Patterson said, “Despite our financial restrictions, you the leaders who gather here should marshal the monetary and academic resources to build an institution of higher learning.”

He said that the building of such an institution will serve to honor the enduring work and contribution of former President Chavez.

“Let it stand as an enduring testimony to Hugo Chavez, who in his short sojourn on our planet did make, indeed, a monumental difference on which this and succeeding generations must build,” Patterson said.

Mr. Patterson declared that on two separate occasions he had discussed the idea with the former Venezuelan President.

“…to build in Jamaica, the land where Simón Bolívar wrote his Summons of inspiration to the people of the Americas, a tertiary institution which would offer specialist education in the fields of language, sports, culture, tourism, environment, maritime training, and nursing,” Patterson revealed.

“As we celebrate today (Saturday), the 10th anniversary of our Montego Bay Summit, how do we best commemorate the legacy of this great Bolivarian disciple and how do we perpetuate his dream?”

He noted that already “work on the discipline and design has already reached the embryonic stage for what could become the Hugo Chavez Academy”.

“This would expose the sons and daughters of Simón Bolívar, José Marti, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and Marcus Garvey to develop fluency in language and hone the skills which blend our economic development and different cultures,” Patterson posited.

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