Brazilian President Lula met Chavez, military and economic cooperation

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

CARACAS, Venezuela – The Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on February 14, 2005 in Caracas, Venezuela. Brazil and Venezuela signed agreements of cooperation on many areas. According to the Brazilian government this was a strategical encounteur. This meeting is the first of three meetings that President Lula will have with South American Presidents in three days. The scheduled meetings are with the presidents of: Venezuela (February, 14), Guiana (February, 15) and Suriname (February, 16).

President Lula was accompanied by the following comitiva: the Minister of Development, Industry, and External Trade Luiz Fernando Furlan, the Minister of Finance Antônio Palocci, the Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim, the Minister of Health Humberto Costa, the Minister of Mines and Energy Dilma Roussef, the Minister of Tourism Walfrido Mares Guia, the President of Petrobras José Eduardo Dutra, the President of National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) Guido Mantega, the President of Eletrobrás Silas Rondeau Cavalcante Silva and the Special Secretary for Aquaculture and Fisheries José Fritsch. In addition a delegation of executives representing enterprises from Brazil accompanied the President.

The Brazilian Ministry of External Relations told the trip aims the construction of a strategical alliance and commercial integration between both countries. The Brazilian Presidential Advisor Marco Aurélio Garcia said:"With this gesture, Brazil will consolidate one of its major political goals, which is the constitution of a South American community of nations". He added: "These agreements with Venezuela are strategical. We want this agreement as a model for other agreements in the region."

According to President Lula the integration of the Latin America is the priority number one of his government. Days before the arrival in Venezuela and commenting about the trip Lula said: "We're going to do the same thing in Colombia and in other countries in which integration is no longer a campaign speech but part of the way we deal with real things, day to day".

The integration of the Latin America is the politics repeatedly proposed by Lula during the meetings of the Foro de São Paulo. According to him and the others members of the Foro there must be a integration among all the left parties and governments of Latin America. The union aims to be an alternative and opposing force to the politics and influence of the richest countries, mainly the United States. Among the organizations which are usually participants of the Foro de São Paulo are: Communist Party of Cuba, Colombian Communist Party, Communist Party of Bolivia, Communist Party of Brazil, Workers' Party, Paraguayan Communist Party, Peruvian Communist Party, Socialist Party of Peru, National Liberation Army, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity, Tupamaros.

On December 4, 2001 during the 10th edition of the Foro de São Paulo in Havana Lula said:"A shoal of small fish may mean the finishing of the hungry in our countries, in out continent. We should not think as the History ended on our journey by the Earth. Even it happens just once, or with one gesture, let's effectively contribute to the improve the life of millions of human beings who live socially excluded by this neoliberal model."[1]

In Venezuela, once again, he brought out the integration wish: "This is the biggest dream I am carrying, that we can negotiate collectively, not like one country, but like a set of countries so we can do that our people may have the chance to conquer the full citizenship."

Economic cooperation

President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez and Ministers (Photo:Ana Nascimento/ABr).
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Brazil and Venezuela signed agreements of cooperation in the sectors of electric energy, mining, exploration of oil and gas, science and technology, fishing and agrarian development, military, communication and Defense of the Amazon. They discussed about the creation of the South Development Bank and collaboration in the audio-visual diffusion.

PDVSA (Venezuelan Petroleum S.A.) and Petrobrás (Brazilian Petroleum S.A.) signed a intention protocol for the building of an oil refinery in Brazil. The investiment will be worth of U$ 2 billion and the expected production is 150 thousand to 200 thousand barrels. Another four agreements were signed covering petroleum exploration and production in Venezuela.

The National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) will liberate U$ 900 million to finance infrastructure projects in Venezuela.

Contracts worth of U$ 235 million were ratified. According to the superintendent of the BNDES's Area of Foreign Trade Luiz Antônio Araújo Dantas these U$ 235 million funds will be for the third line of the Caracas subway, the purchase of harvestors and other agricultural machinery and for the La Vueltosa Hydroelectric Plant.

Military cooperation

Venezuela will support Brazilian candidacy to the United Nations Security Council. Brazil and Venezuela signed agreements of technological and industrial cooperation for aerospace development and Amazonia monitoring.

Brazil will sell to Venezuela 26 attack airplanes type Super Tucano and 12 airplanes type AMX-T manufactured by EMBRAER (Brazil's Aircraft Company). According to the representant of EMBRAER in Venezuela Joany Kings the program will cost USS 300 million in two years.

The Venezuelan Air Force is using 20 old model Tucanos. The new model Super Tucano is equipped with last generation technology and can carry up to 1.15 ton of bombs. The AMX-T model is a two-seat advanced trainer AMX variant which can do strategical attacks from long distance using guided bombs.

Brazil will transfer technology knowledge to Venezuela with the goal to stimulate Venezuelan development in the military field and other areas.



See also

References

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