BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, February 19, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — Fifteen families in Mansion Village each received keys to a two-bedroomed bungalow on Friday February 18, made possible as a result of a bilateral agreement between the governments of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
“Today I am pleased to participate in this historic distribution of 15 Petrocasas houses to 15 families who really need them,” said Prime Minister and Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Number Seven, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris.
Donated by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela under the Petrocaribe Agreement, which would have been entered after the visit of President Nicolas Maduro to St. Kitts and Nevis in 2015 at the invitation of the Team Unity Administration, the 15 homes distributed at Mansion are the first of 50 Petrocasas houses to be built under the agreement.
“I have come to commend them all on their fresh-start in life – a fresh start to a stronger, safer future,” said Dr Harris at the house handover ceremony on Friday February 18. “So, you have a fresh-start to a happier home, a fresh-start to a beautiful home in which lasting memories of family, and with family will be made. Congratulations to all of you.”
The Honourable Prime Minister commended the work of two young contractors who worked under the direction of Project Manager Mr Calvin Pemberton for bringing the 15 homes to reality. The Government of Venezuela organised for Mr Pemberton and the two contractors to visit Dominica to study what they had done there.
“They came back home and they advised us that while what was done in Dominica had served its purpose, here in St. Kitts and Nevis we had certain higher expectations and therefore we will do the adaptations to ensure that we had what was really required by the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” observed Dr Harris.
He recalled that it was in 2015 with the visit of President Nicolas Maduro that they had a conversation about how they can strengthen the bilateral cooperation between two countries, and how a promise was made to deliver some 50 houses to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. He added that the urgency to build the houses was magnified after the country had the visits of two hurricanes.
“I want you to make the house your home,” Prime Minister Harris told the 15 who had turned up to receive keys to their new houses. “I want you to take care of it, sharing it as an inter-generational asset that will pass from you to your son, to your daughter – that will become a collateral to help you get your daughter, get your son, off to university. I have high hopes for you, and I say you all deserve and I congratulate all of you.”
He asked the General Manager of PDV St. Kitts-Nevis Limited, Ms Maria Andreina Colmenares, who was present, to stand and said: “Maria Colmenares has been the senior representative of the Government of Venezuela associated with these Petrocasas homes. She has stood with us for a very long time, demonstrating common-sense, good judgment and a high level of cooperation – understanding what this project meant for the good relations between our countries.”
Giving remarks at the handing-over ceremony of the Petrocasas houses included Project Manager Mr Calvin Pemberton, Charge d’ Affaires Ad Hoc of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela His Excellency Mr Marco Antonio Guzman Adrian, and Minister of Human Settlements et al, the Hon Eugene Hamilton.
The ceremony was chaired by Ms Violet Williams who said: “Today is such a day where the beneficiaries, and by extension the Federation, can say that we are living in the goodness of God. Today is such a day of testimonies where one can say that truly God is our provider and sustainer.”
His Excellency Marco Antonio Guzman Adrian, who on behalf of his government and on behalf of the country’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Caribbean Ambassador Raul Licausi congratulated all the 15 homeowners, pledged that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will continue to support the people of St. Kitts and Nevis
“I take this opportunity to congratulate all of you and your government on the seventh-year anniversary of the election of the Team Unity Government,” he added.
In the meantime, Minister of Human Settlement et al, the Hon Eugene Hamilton, said that the Team Unity Government had made its duty to provide homes to the people, and that rural St. Kitts had not been left out pointing out to the 15 homes in Mansion. He added that in the next few weeks, 16 houses will be distributed in Conyers.
“When I think of where we are today, how far we have come, since our journey began as a government back in 2015, I marvel,” said Hon Hamilton. “I marvel because the delivery of homes under this Team Unity Administration is second to none. Over 500 homeowners have benefitted from our stewardship in the seven years we have been in office,” he said, but on presenting a breakdown per each of the eight constituencies on St. Kitts, the figure added to 552 homes.
Present at the colourful ceremony included Minister of Health et al the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan His Excellency Michael Lin, Resident Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba His Excellency David Rivero Perez, Ambassadors His Excellency Vance Amory, His Excellency Sydney Osborne, and His Excellency Kevin Isaac, and Deputy Clerk of National Assembly Ms Trevlyn Stapleton.