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Venezuela, Argentina build South American energy integration and Venezuela joins MercoSur on July 31 ( 0) Printer friendly page Print This
By MINCI. Commentary by Les Blough, Editor. Axis of Logic.
MINCI. Translated by COI
Saturday, Jul 28, 2012

The second part of the MINCI article below makes reference to the entry of Venezuela into South America's largest trading bloc. In a fascinating turn of events, the US-backed right wing's institutional coup in Paraguay that removed leftist President Fernando Lugo last month has opened the door for Venezuela to enter Mercosur, the Common Market of the South. As a result of the coup against Lugo, MercoSur and UniSur member countries suspended Paraguay from participation. Paraguay appealed the decision but the Mersosur court upheld it. That suspension will remain in effect until the country holds presidential elections in April, 2013. The coup was condemned as undemocratic and illegal by many Latin American leaders who refused to recognize Franco as the legitimate president.

Before this backfired coup took place, Paraguay has always blocked Venezuela's membership. MercoSur includes Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil and next Wednesday, Venezuela will begin participating in this international trade organization. While announcing the new YPF-PDVSA partnership in petroleum, President Chavez stated that Venezuela's membership in MercoSur will, “open a new horizon of possibilities for the growth and aggrandizement of the South American Homeland”. Another US-spawned coup on the continent has become another nightmare for imperialism.

33 nations met for the first time on Dec. 2-3 to form CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Carbbean States.

Bolivar's Dream: In another important example of the unification of Latin America for security and economic growth, 33 nations of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, held their first meeting in Caracas, Venezuela Dec. 2-3, when they agreed to deepen integration among their governments and economies. Their next two summits are scheduled to be held in Chile in 2012 and Cuba in 2013. Meanwhile, Latin American foreign ministers have been meeting to collaborate on the development of this organization. We and many others expect that CELAC will eventually replace the OAS as a bulwark against imperialism, building a relationship capable of working together outside the continuing threats, political interventions and economic influence of Washington.

- Les Blough, Editor

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez with Argentine Planning Minister Julio De Vido in Caracas on July 23, 2012. Chavez invited Argentina to share in Venezuela's oil reserves, the largest in the world, following President Cristina Fernandez' order to nationalizethat country’s largest energy company, Spanish owned YFP, due to its low production quotas and failure to maintain adequate reserves earlier this year.

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez met with Argentine Planning Minister Julio De Vido last Monday in Caracas for discussions that saw the head of the Caribbean nation invite his South American allies to join in the oil exploitation of the largest crude reserves in the world.

The conversations focused on cooperation between the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and the recently re-nationalized Argentine firm YPF to explore and drill in the Orinoco Belt, home to nearly 300 billion barrels of crude.

“We are pleased to receive [the Argentine delegation] in the oil business... not just in the exploration and production of oil, but also in any other area that we may agree upon”, said Hugo Chavez during a press conference held outside the presidential palace of Miraflores. YPF, originally an Argentine state energy company, was privatized in 1998 under pressure from the International Monetary Fund and sold to the Spanish firm Repsol.

Earlier this year, President Cristina Fernandez ordered the nationalization of the country’s largest energy company due to Repsol’s low production quotas and failure to maintain adequate reserves. The new partnership between YPF and PDVSA, as explained by Chavez on Monday, would consist in the Argentine firm’s participation in the exploitation of mature fields in the Orinoco belt as well as PDVSA’s collaboration with energy projects in Argentine territory.

Venezuela signed a similar agreement with the public Argentine company Enarsa in January that establishes the production of 100,000 barrels of crude daily from the Orinoco Belt.

“Now we want YPF, with all of its force, potential and experience to participate in the Orinoco Oil Belt and oil fields that are already producing”, the head of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela said on Monday.

MERCOSUR: A New Horizon

During the press conference, Chavez took the opportunity to hail the entrance of Venezuela into the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) trade alliance that will take place on July 31.

The arrival of the Caribbean nation as a full member of MERCOSUR was decided after Paraguay, the only country objecting to Venezuela’s admittance to the bloc, was suspended from the organization following the “institutional coup” that deposed President Fernando Lugo last month.

Venezuela’s participation in the regional alliance, which currently includes Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil, will, according to President Chavez, “open a new horizon of possibilities for the growth and aggrandizement of the South American Homeland”.

As such, the head of state reported that his country will create a $500 million fund to grant credits to private and public sector Venezuelan firms to facilitate their participation in trade deals with MERCOSUR associates.

A presidential commission has also been established to stimulate and streamline the OPEC member’s insertion in the bloc.

“We’re going to create a MERCOSUR fund and I want to take the opportunity to invite productive Venezuelan businesses from the private sector to come to the convocation of the [Presidential Commission]. A list of businesses is being made whose firms have the potential to be important exporters”, Chavez said.

The two-time incumbent President informed that Venezuela expects to add 240,000 new jobs as a result of its admittance to MERCOSUR.

Source: MINCI via Correo del Orinoco

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