Caracas, Venezuela, October 21, 2005—Venezuela’s President Chavez, who visited France for two days, said that both France and Venezuela have the same international vision. “It is identical, especially on the level of geo-politics: we advocate a multi-polar world that is balanced in the 21st century,” said Chavez during a meeting with the main French employers’ association.
Earlier, shortly after Chavez’s arrival in France, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said that Venezuela and France agreed that, “it is important to depart from international egoism in order to enter into a new era.” Villepin also said among the two countries there is, “a same vision of relations between the North and the South and in the need to change things, of having new ideas.”
In the course of Chavez’s visit to France, the third stop in his tour of Europe, following visits to Spain and Italy, Chavez also said that Venezuela wants to become a reliable and long term supplier of oil and gas to Europe. Venezuela’s plans to increase its investment in the oil industry and to increase production should be seen in this context, explained Chavez.
In terms of concrete results, Chavez’s trip ended with a commitment from France to double the number of Venezuelans studying in France, to 2,000, many of whom would study public administration. Also, a potential conflict with the French oil company Total appears to have been resolved. According to Chavez, Total will remain in Venezuela and will also be involved in future investment opportunities in Venezuela’s Orinoco Oil Belt, to produce synthetic crude from the largest reserves of extra heavy crude in the world.
Chavez concluded that his tour of Europe was, “marvelous and productive,” and that it, “forms part of all the effort of one of the most important lines of our Bolivarian project: to modestly contribute … to a pluri-polar world.”