(iWitness News) President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday afternoon for an unannounced visit on which the host government is yet to comment.
Maduro was treated to a red carpet welcome when he landed at the Argyle International Airport, which was built with support from the South American nation.
Maduro’s visit comes less than two months after a visit announced for the Feb. 14 opening of the airport did not materialise amidst political tensions in Caracas.
Word of Maduro’s visit emerged on social media and SVG Airport posted on Facebook, photos of the formalities to welcome the visiting leader.
SVG’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sir Louis Straker and Venezuelan envoys to Kingstown welcomed Maduro to SVG.
Kingstown and Caracas have maintained warm and deepened ties under the Ralph Gonsalves administration and Kingstown is one of the Caribbean Community capitals that have benefited from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe.
Under PetroCaribe, participating nations can import fuel from Venezuela under preferential payment arrangements. Participating nations say the initiative has been an important social buffer amidst harsher economic realities after the global financial crisis of 2008.