Coro, June 8th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On the second leg of his short tour of Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez met with Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa to discuss further bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Following a day of discussion between Venezuelan and Ecuadoran ministers in the Ecuadoran province of Salinas yesterday, the two leaders signed 12 agreements in areas such as science, technology, mixed enterprises, energy sovereignty and agro-industries.
One of the most important agreements will support Venezuela’s new housing program and involves the establishment of a mixed enterprise between an Ecuadoran housing construction company and the Venezuelan state.
Other agreements involving mixed businesses include a plastic packaging company, a coco refining corporation and a flower merchandiser.
The two leaders ratified the constitution of the Venezuela-Ecuador bi-national development fund to support social projects in both nations. They increased Ecuador’s share in the Venezuelan state oil subsidiary Venpersa S.A. to 14%. A mutual agreement was also reached between Petroecuador and Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA which allows Petroecuador to begin exploitation of already operational Venezuelan oil fields.
Scholarships to study for doctorates in Venezuelan national universities will also be provided and Ecuador will offer biological material and technical support for the development of an EPS (Social Property Enterprise) banana and plantain plantation.
Leaving Behind the Neo-Liberal Model
Attempts to create a “network of integration” – as Chávez labeled it yesterday – as an alternative to free trade has led to increasing regional cohesion within Latin America, resulting in the creation of organisations such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of our America (ALBA) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
“We’re leaving behind the neo-liberal model of competition and we are establishing a model of integration, mutual cooperation and nobody will deter us from that path,” said Chávez. His Ecuadoran counterpart commented, “We need to keep building unity within South America, and one day, the unity of all Latin America.”
Venezuela and Ecuador Attend OPEC Meeting
Oil ministers from both Venezuela and Ecuador today attended a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) regarding daily oil production quotas in Vienna.
Whereas Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar were all in favour of an increase 1.5 million barrels in daily production, the governments of Algeria, Venezuela, Ecuador, Angola, Iran and Libya voted against this measure as they believe it will destabilise oil prices.
Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez stressed that although it was the first time that the OPEC nations had been unable to reach an agreement since its inception, it was not a “catastrophe”.
“We are going to continue evaluating the market situation; we are going to be calm in order to maintain balance and our prices. All the ministers are going to be in touch,” said Ramirez.
Chávez also took the opportunity to officially confirm President Correa’s attendance at the inauguration of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
“It is an extremely important time in which we are living. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is being born on the 5th of July in Caracas and President Correa will be with us on this memorable day,” he stated.
Prior to meeting with Correa, Chávez signed a series of agreements with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. He will finish off his short tour today by paying a visit to Cuba to discuss the development of further integration projects with President Raúl Castro.