The governments of Venezuela and Uruguay signed a series of strategic agreements on Wednesday, in the areas of science and technology, energy and oil, agriculture, food, commerce and ﬁnance, that will further the integral development of both nations.
The accords were reached during a trimestral visit between Uruguayan President Jose “Pepe” Mujica and Venezuelan chief Hugo Chavez.
Amongst the varied agreements approved in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, was a protocol amendment to a prior accord that will allow for the development of a satellite program “Venesat-1”, using Venezuela’s “Simon Bolivar” satellite, which will permit both nations a shared use of the orbit so that Uruguay can also develop spacial technology.
During the meetings on Wednesday, President Chavez praised the efforts Uruguay has made to advance the development of Venezuela’s satellite, which according to the Venezuelan President, should “beneﬁt all people in the region”.
Chavez highlighted the support provided by the Uruguayan government during the presidency of Tabare Vazquez (2005-2010), who helped initiate Venezuela’s statellite program.
The “Simon Bolivar” satellite project “was an older idea, from the 1970s”, explained President Chavez, but due to “foreign interests” it was never completed.
“The project didn’t happen at that time, and those same interests tried to prevent us from completing it as well”, revealed the Venezuelan head of state.
Nonetheless, other “developed countries with a progressive vision for the world offered us help”, said Chavez. “With the aid of the Chinese and Russian governments, we began our satellite program”.
Thanks to Uruguay, detailed Chavez, the Venezuelan satellite was able to be placed in orbit, “because we were blocked; we didn’t have an orbit to put our satellite in, because of the hegemony that also exists in space and is controlled by the US and other developed nations”.
Chavez also recalled that when the satellite was launched in October 2008, “the US government had sent a request to the Chinese urging them to suspend the launching of the satellite, because they were unsure as to what we would use it for, that it could interfere in another orbit...they just invented any excuse”.
“But, President Hu Jintao said he had made a commitment to Venezuela and would proceed with the launching of the satellite. And there it is, in Uruguay’s orbit, and we’re sharing it”, Chavez informed.
South American and Caribbean media outlets can use the “Simon Bolivar” satellite, offered the Venezuelan President. “We want the people of Uruguay, and those of South America and the Caribbean to enjoy the use of our satellite”, he expressed. And thanks to the agreements signed between Venezuela and Uruguay, “the people of Uruguay have rights to the satellite”.