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'Don't throw PDVSA under the bus,' Paulwell urges gov't

Phillip Paulwell
 
Opposition Spokesman on Energy Phillip Paulwell, is urging Jamaica not to throw Venezuelan oil company PDVSA under the bus because the South American country is in crisis.
 
Mr. Paulwell was commenting on the government's plan to buy back PDVSA's 49 per cent stake in Petrojam.
 
Speaking on RJR's talkshow programme, Hotline, on Thursday, the Opposition Spokesman argued that the Venezuelans have been patient with Jamaica in the past.
 
He recalled that in 2008 when Venezuela was prepared to pursue the expansion and upgrade of the refinery, it halted its plans because Jamaica's then government was in the middle of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 
 
"Now the government wishes to proceed, Venezuela is having a difficulty because it just doesn't have the cash flow, and as they understood our position then, I believe that we should understand their position now," he urged. 
 
Jamaica formally offered to buy back the shares last month following fallout caused by a US government executive order restricting transactions with oil rich Venezuela.
 
Last month, Energy Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley told the House of  Representatives that executives from PDVSA are to visit Jamaica shortly to discuss the offer.
 
Efforts to get Dr. Wheatley for an update on when they are to arrive have been unsuccessful.
 
Resignations
 
Meanwhile, Reuters news agency is reporting that workers at PDVSA are quitting in droves, with the company now refusing to process resignations.
 
It said thousands of oil workers are fleeing the state-run oil firm under the watch of its new military commander, who has quickly alienated the firm's embattled upper echelon and its rank-and-file.
 
Reuters said some PDVSA offices now have lines outside with dozens of workers waiting to quit.
 
In at least one administrative office, human resource staff hung a sign saying they do not accept resignations.
 
Official workforce statistics have become a closely guarded secret, but union leaders say about 25,000 workers resigned in the last year.


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