Caracas, Venezuela, August 3, 2006—Venezuela’s President Chavez concluded his two week world tour in Africa today, visiting the countries of Mali and Benin, where he continued his effort to strengthen ties with a wide variety of leaders from the Third World.
Upon his arrival in the West Africa nation of Mali, Chavez said that Third World unity was not needed to fight “against someone or against a particular country,” but to “confront the great challenges of this imperialist neo-liberal era.”
Chavez went on to say, “It is of primordial importance that we cultivate a conscience that we are a single people, so as to achieve true integration.”
Chavez met with President Amadou Toumani Toure and visited the Malinese Solidarity Bank and a housing complex. Chavez also signed a variety of cooperation agreements and a memorandum of understanding, so as to establish ties between Venezuela’s ministry of Energy and Petroleum and its Malinese counterpart.
Chavez’s last and final stop of his world tour was the West African nation of Benin, where he visited President Yayi Boni and promised to support that country’s micro-finance program. Also, Benin assured its support for Venezuela’s effort to acquire the temporary UN Security Council seat, which opens up in 2007.
The Venezuelan President’s world tour took him to eight countries in 14 days, starting with the Mercosur summit in Argentina and then on to Belorussia, Russia, Qatar, Iran, Vietnam, Mali, and Benin.