Published on 22 July 2014 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
Venezuela has signed 38 agreements worth US$18 billion with China, signaling a deepening of the two countries’ relations.
The new agreements were signed publically by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and Chinese president Xi Jinping in Caracas yesterday.
The accords include a US$4 billion direct loan for Venezuela and US$14 billion in Chinese financing for development projects in energy, mining, industry, technology, communications, transport, housing and culture.
Specific agreements include financing to increase oil production, explore mining reserves, expand public transport, launch a third Venezuelan satellite, and build factories to produce cement, fertilizers and other products.
During the high level bilateral meeting’s closing ceremony President Maduro said that the two governments had agreed to elevate their relations to a “comprehensive strategic association”.
“We find ourselves in a new political moment, forging, in this act, a new historic stage for the strengthening of relations for the wellbeing and prosperity of our countries,” he said.
Published on 16 July 2014 by the Venezuelan embassy in the US
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said on Wednesday that the meeting between heads of states of BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and of UNASUR nations (Union of South American Nations) will foster an alliance that will ensure peace and prosperity for the region.
“Without a doubt, the meeting between BRICS and UNASUR is historic. A South American bloc that is on its own path in terms of the economy, culture, politics, jurisdictions, of South American identity … [and] five of the most important emerging nations at the time” is a great alliance, the President said upon arriving in Brasilia.
He also noted that such an alliance would “correct the injustices of neoliberalism that privileged speculative capitalism in the world, that privileged looting through financial speculation, as in the case of our Argentinean sibling and the vulture funds.”
Hundreds of people gathered after work on 10 July in downtown Caracas to protest Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” - the continuing massive bombardment of Gaza.
At the rally, speaker after speaker voiced outrage at the massacre of innocent children and other civilians and called for the Venezuelan government and MERCOSUR to cut all ties with Israel.
Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez cut diplomatic relations with Israeli after its earlier war on Gaza in 2008-2009. However, the two countries have maintained commercial relations, and a number of Venezuela’s Latin American allies also maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.
On July 10, President Maduro expressed grief over the assassination of three Israeli youth and urged a thorough investigation of the crime. Then he went on to “energetically condemn Israel’s unjust , disproportionate and illegal military attack on the heroic Palestinian people”…and demanded the Israeli government immediately stop this aggression. Then, the President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, called on the world powers to raise their voices against the massacre of the Palestinian people by Israeli bombs on Gaza.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has launched an “SOS Palestine” campaign to demand an end to Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Palestine’s Gaza strip.
“Enough already, I’ve joined the campaign. #SOS Palestina, let’s launch it,” he told supporters during a televised broadcast.
Holding up a handwritten placard, he asked fellow citizens to join the campaign, stating, “The Palestinian people have the right to live in their ancestral lands in peace…our international position over the issue of Palestine is just and follows the policy of comandante Hugo Chavez”.
Correo del Orinoco Paul Dobson
The Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Diaz, revealed that there are currently 2,272 citizens being investigated for currency speculation and black market dealings this week, as well as denouncing yet another violent attack on her of?ces in Caracas in which “armed persons opened ?re against the Public Ministry, causing destruction.”
The crimes of currency speculation focus on those individuals and businesses that have applied for subsidized foreign currency for ?ctitious import contracts or personal travel, only to later sell the currency on the illegal black market for up to ten times its value. Such practices produce astronomical personal pro?ts, public losses, and a phenomenal drain on the economy, as well as inducing shortages, in?ation, and devaluation. During the last 10 years it is estimated that with the amount of foreign currency lost in illegal speculation, Venezuela could have ?nanced the World Cup four times over.
Correo del Orinoco Ewan Robertson
The Venezuelan government is organizing a series of employment fairs to increase the number of disabled people in formal employment, as part of efforts to guarantee the disabled their full rights as citizens.
The employment fairs seek to connect public and private companies with disabled people looking for work, and to help companies meet the legal requirement for 5% of employees to be people with disabilities. The requirement is part of the Law for Disabled People, passed in 2006, which aims to ensure that disabled people enjoy the “full and autonomous exercise of his or her capacities”.
The first disabled people’s employment fair was opened last Monday in Caracas with the presence of around 40 public and private companies. Similar events will be held around the country.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has advanced toward the agreement of a common plan to tackle social and developmental problems in the region.
Representatives of CELAC member states met with various regional organisations and international development bodies in Caracas, Venezuela for a three day conference last week to draw up a common plan to eliminate poverty and guarantee social rights in every country in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The CELAC was founded in Caracas in December 2011, and is composed of every country in the Americas with the exception of the United States and Canada.
During last week’s conference, Venezuelan diplomat and general secretary of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Ali Rodriguez Araque said that the achievement of regional development goals was dependent on the establishment of common policies in the use of primary resources.
The Venezuelan government has initiated its policy of expanding social programs in the country’s most deprived areas in a bid to eradicate extreme poverty.
On Sunday various government ministers and regional authorities accompanied social program workers on house to house visits in communities where extreme poverty still prevails.
The initiative, called “Red Sundays”, sees multidisciplinary teams of social program workers visiting poorer communities every Sunday to diagnose which households are deprived of certain basic needs and which social programs are required to attend to these needs. The workers also take the opportunity to directly attend to the health or other needs of the people they encounter.
The information gathered during the visits is then used to strategically plan the construction of special attention points called Social Mission Bases in poorer communities. The attention points are community centres housing different social programs such as free health clinics, educational and cultural programs, and subsidised food stores.