Mérida, 19th May 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela and Palestine have signed fresh agreements on oil, taxation and diplomatic cooperation.
The agreements were made during Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to Venezuela last week.
In a key agreement Venezuela created a new corporation, Petro-Palestina, through which Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will send oil to Palestine at a subsidised price. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro committed to sending an initial shipment of 240,000 barrels of oil.
It is not clear how the shipment will reach its destination, as Israel maintains an economic blockade of the Palestinian territories. However Maduro said that he didn’t anticipate a problem and that the oil’s passage could be agreed through “dialogue”.
“The Palestinian people have the right to have energy relations with the world. I’m sure there won’t be obstacles or problems,” he said.
Venezuela currently does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, which it severed in 2009 in response to Israel’s assault of the Gaza strip in January of that year.
Other agreements reached between Abbas and Maduro were to avoid double tax avoidance between the two states and to establish a free eye clinic in the West Bank under the Venezuelan – Cuban Miracle Mission.
Venezuela also announced the Palestinian State’s (formerly Palestinian National Authority) entrance as a “special observer” to Petrocaribe and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), two regional alliances founded by the South American country.
Further, Venezuela will support Palestine’s bid for observer status to the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
“Thanks to Venezuela for supporting Palestine, for helping to break Israel’s monopoly over our economy, [and] for supporting the Palestinian people in their long struggle,” Abbas said.
This was Abbas’ third visit to Venezuela since diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 2009.
The Palestinian politician’s arrival in Venezuela was preceded by a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in London, UK, where the two discussed the status of the peace talks which Israel recently broke off with Abbas’ administration.