Venezuela’s partnership with Russia: An emblematic step

July 23rd, 2012

Published on Voltairenet.org, by Olivia Kroth, July 16, 2012.

While the Western system, under the influence of the war lobbies, is based on financial parasitism and unbridled predation, Venezuela and Russia are building an alternative model. The multipolar world is one of balanced partnerships and win-win agreements. But as pointed out by Olivia Kroth, the Libyan tragedy should serve as a lesson: the emergence of an alternative to imperial capitalism must go hand in hand with a strong defense capability.  

Under President Chávez, Venezuela is enjoying good relations with Russia as one of its most important trade and military partners in Latin America. By strengthening the Venezuelan-Russian ties, Hugo Chávez wants to help creating a multi-polar world, “a world that permits the rights of peoples to liberty, self-determination and sovereignty” … //

… Since 2008, PDVSA has furthermore been drilling gas jointly with Russia’s Gazprom in the Gulf of Venezuela. The Caribbean Gas Belt, which stretches along the coast of Venezuela, contains 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

President Chávez wants his country to produce its own gas with Russian help, thanks to the transfer of Russian technology and training. “It is a great advantage for Venezuela to count on Russia’s presence and Gazprom in the Gulf”, Hugo Chávez pointed out.

Another shared Venezuelan-Russian enterprise is the mining of gold in Venezuela’s gold mines, Las Cristinas and Las Brisas. Both gold deposits were nationalized under the Chávez Government. The Russian firm Rusoro was granted partnership with Venezuelan state mining companies.

To finance these projects, a bi-national bank was created in 2009. Russia’s Gazprombank and VTB control 51 percent, Venezuela’s PDVSA and the National Treasury own 49 percent. The bi-national bank’s headquarters are located in Moscow, with offices established in Caracas and Beijing. The bi-national bank aims to boost financial cooperation between Venezuela and Russia. According to President Chávez, this bank is a step on the way “to transform the financial architecture of the 21st century”.

As Russia’s President Vladimir Putin remarked, the commercial exchange between Russia and Venezuela saw “a tenfold increase in 2011”. Russia exports busses to Venezuela, while the Russian car company Lada is looking to open up factories in Venezuela. The Latin American partner sends agricultural products to Russia: cacao, flowers and plantains (bananas).

Ruso-Venezolana Orquídea S.A., a mixed Russian-Venezuelan enterprise for the export/import of Venezuelan orchids to Russia, is building a special cargo terminal in the airport of Caracas-Maiquetía (IAIM), in the state of Vargas. Ricardo Javier Sánchez, director of the enterprise, recently presented the construction project with special installations to keep the orchids beautiful and fresh while being packed and transported all the way to Russia, their final destination.

In addition, Venezuela’s socialist agricultural Mission, Gran Misión AgroVenezuela, wants to export more homegrown tropical fruits to Russia: mangos, melons, pineapples. Coffee export shall also be boosted in the coming years.

At the beginning of June this year, a Russian delegation, presided by Denis Manturov, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Commerce, visited Venezuela and inspected the site of Fuerte Tiuna in Caracas, where sixteen new apartment buildings were erected with Russian assistance. Each apartment measures between 60 and 70 square meters, comprising two or three rooms, bathroom and kitchen. Venezuela built 10.000 new homes with Russian materials and technology, 6.000 in Fuerte Tiuna, a barrio of the capital city, another 4.000 in Turmerito, a quarter of Turmero, in the state of Aragua.

Of course, Russian-Venezuelan arms deals are the main theme of western mainstream press reports, but in reality they are only one of many areas of cooperation. “We want peace”, Hugo Chávez assures, “but in order to preserve the security and tranquility of our nation it is necessary to strengthen our defense” … //

… Tatiana Rusakova also emphasized that more and more Venezuelans are enrolling in Russian language courses. The Central University of Venezuela in Caracas trains future teachers of the Russian language. The Government of the Russian Federation offers scholarships to Venezuelan students who are interested in studying at Russian universities.

Last but not least, Venezuela is promoting tourism in Russia. In March 2012, the Bolivarian Government participated in Moscow’s International Tourism Fair (MITT). A group of the Venezuelan Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) presented touristic points of interest in Venezuela to Russian travel agencies. The ten people of the delegation attended more than 190 meetings with international travel agents from Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia, handing out brochures and promotional videos of Venezuela. They also met with officials of tourist magazines: TTG, Voyage, Travel Magazine, News Outdoor, and the internet portal travel.rian.ru.

President Chávez promotes cooperation with Russia in other Latin American countries, just like the Russian Federation greeted the recent founding of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), launched in Caracas, in December 2011. A spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry lauded “this emblematic step that our Latin American partners have made”.

Russia supports the desire of Latin American countries for unity and the consolidation of their identity, of which Hugo Chávez is the first and foremost representative. (full long text).

Links:

Venezuela’s cooperation with Big Sister China
, on Voltairenet.org, by Olivia Kroth, June 13, 2012;

The battle of Damascus has begun, on Voltairenet.org, by Thierry Meyssan, July 20, 2012;

La bataille de Damas a commencé, dans Voltairenet.org, par Thierry Meyssan, le 19 Juillet 2012.

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