VIO News Blog

August 18, 2008

President Chavez Pledges Oil to Paraguay

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 4:28 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Last weekend, President Chavez was in Paraguay meeting with the newly inaugurated Fernando Lugo (seen here). The two leaders signed a dozen accords, including one in energy that the AP reports will guarantee Paraguay 23,500 barrels of Venezuelan oil per day. According to Bloomberg, President Chavez said “All of the oil that Paraguay needs during this century it will have guaranteed by Venezuela for the development of its people, industry and agriculture.” Chavez addressed a crowd of poor Paraguayans, the Los Angeles Times reports, and demonstrated his desire for strong ties with the new leader of that small South American nation.

In other regional news, Venezuela will sell more gasoline to border areas of Colombia in an attempt to discourage the smuggling of that product. The Information Ministry said that this is part of “a series of measures in the border region of Venezuela will be activated, with the objective of eradicating the illegal extraction of gasoline.” Meanwhile, Venezuelan officials hope to launch an observation satellite within five years to improve telecommunications. Reuters wrongly deems Venezuela a “Washington foe,” when in fact the Chavez administration seeks dialogue with the U.S.

In economic news, nationalizations in Venezuela’s cement industry are going ahead, according to the AP. Compensation talks have been held with foreign companies, and private investment will remain present — the Venezuelan state aims for 60% ownership. Some mining industry activity will be curtailed in the southern region of Venezuela due to environmental concerns, according to Bloomberg. Gold mining, in particular, will be limited to an area the size of 10 million acres.

Finally, Venezuela’s President Chavez weighed in on the Russian attacks on Georgia last week, issuing a critical perspective on the U.S. role. Reuters reports that Chavez said that the Russians were responding to provocation. He also suggested, according to the AP that the Georgian president is “a puppet” of the U.S., which seeks to weaken Russia.

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