Caracas, April 16, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Arreaza met with his Uruguayan counterpart Raul Sendic yesterday to discuss a new trade deal that will see Venezuela export oil to its Southern Cone neighbor in exchange for agricultural products, including rice, chicken, and dairy items.
Speaking from the Uruguayan Parliament, Arreaza noted that Venezuela has "energy resources that, as Commander Chavez and President Maduro have taught us, are not only for Venezuelans but for all our America, the Caribbean, South America, to complement each other."
"Uruguay also has a lot to offer to Venezuela," he added.
The new deal will mark a further step forward in the process of regional integration spearheaded by the late president Hugo Chavez, under which Venezuela has strengthened political and economic relations with its Latin American and Caribbean neighbors on the basis of low cost oil exports.
In 2013, Venezuela's Maduro and then president Jose Mujica signed nine bilateral agreements in the areas of trade, energy, and agribusiness.
Beyond trade, the two leaders also discussed politics, and the Uruguayan Vice President took the opportunity to express his solidarity with the Bolivarian government amid ongoing destabilization efforts, including an economic war and US intervention.
On behalf of Uruguay, Sendic recognized "Venezuela's sovereignty in its decision-making” and rejected "any type of foreign interference," alluding to the March 9 Executive Order issued by the Obama administration labeling the Bolivarian nation an "unusual and extraordinary threat" and imposing sanctions.
The Vice President's remarks follow similar manifestations of solidarity by Uruguayan leaders in recent weeks.
At the Summit of the Americas in Panama this past weekend, newly elected President Tabare Vasquez reiterated his government's rejection of the White House decree targeting Venezuela during his speech before the plenum.
Several weeks prior, the immensely popular former president Jose Mujica led a march in solidarity with Venezuela, where he publicly affirmed that anybody who believed the Bolivarian Republic to be a "threat" to Washington "has a screw loose."
Arreaza had traveled to Montevideo on Tuesday in order to attend the funeral of the late Uruguayan poet and journalist Eduardo Galeano who died on Monday.
During his visit, the Executive Vice President also attended the sixteenth meeting of the International Union of Workers of Construction, Wood, and Construction Materials.