Hugo Chavez works with his “former” East Bloc allies and radical Islamist states to encircle America.
President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has been busy. From October 13 – 24, he traveled throughout European, Asian, Middle-Eastern and African nations, speaking, attending meetings, and signing agreements. A key element of the tour was to showcase Venezuela’s economy and tout its significance on the global market.
At one stop, Chavez stated, “[Venezuela is] now on the offensive,” and the “rules of the game have changed radically.” An analyst, referring to his comments observed, “Integration and the union of peoples provide a shield against imperialist aggression.” The Communist Party USA’s People’s World provides the following summary of the specifics of this Venezuelan economic offensive:
- Russia: Chavez signed 15 documents of “strategic cooperation” with Russian President Dmitry Medvédev, among them joint plans to build Venezuela’s first nuclear power plant. Venezuela will buy 35 Russian tanks under previous accords and will be planting 50,000 acres with plantains, flowers and other crops for export to Russia. A new Russian-Venezuelan bank will promote independence from U.S.-controlled international financial institutions. (Chavez is highly popular with Russian legislators)
- Belarus: Chavez agreed to provide 30 million tons of crude oil over three years and purchase petroleum drilling and repair services from Belarus, which is uncertain about continued Russian oil availability after recent diplomatic tiffs. Belarus will help build 5,000 houses in Venezuela, in addition to 10,000 houses promised from Russia, 12,500 from Portugal, and 10,000 from Iran. At a state-owned Belarus heavy truck factory, Chavez announced a joint venture for building Latin America’s first big truck factory. Belarus will participate in shoe and textile manufacture in Venezuela. Chavez pointed to the state-owned, 2,700 employee, Dziarzhynski food production complex as a model for Venezuela and a future trading partner.
- Ukraine: Chavez and President Viktor Yanukovych established bilateral diplomatic relations and discussed trade possibilities. Working groups of both nations will meet in Caracas in November.
- Iran: On his ninth visit to Iran, Chavez signed 11 agreements, making the total 200 since 2001, on technology transfer, industry, agriculture, commerce, housing and mining. Venezuela’s state oil company will help open up an Iranian gas field. The two countries will form an oil shipping company and build petrochemical plants. Chavez praised a state-developed housing complex with 90,000 homes as a “new form of popular construction.” Bilateral trade is valued now at $5 billion.
- Syria: Chavez and President Bashar al-Assad signed six accords, including plans for a Syrian-Venezuelan oil refinery, a shipping line and a business bureau. Joint cotton and olive oil production is contemplated. Syria will be joining the Venezuelan-inspired Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) as an observer.
- Libya: Chavez received an honorary degree in Libya and discussed preparations with leader Muammar Gaddafi for the third Africa-South America Summit to be held in Libya next year.
- Portugal: Chavez visited a computer factory which supplies computers used in Venezuelan schools. The factory owner will be supplying Venezuela with 1.5 million of them over three years, some from a facility near Caracas. Portugal will be receiving Venezuelan crude oil, and shipping services will be developed.
In 2005 Chavez stated, “Socialism is the future. We want the 21st century to be the century of social justice, of the triumph of the working people everywhere, and of Socialism. Socialism is the future and it is a certainty.”
Chavez’s networking is not about economics, it is about regional hegemony and ultimately about the isolation and destruction of socialism’s traditional opponent, the U.S.A.