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23 Jul, 2008 16:23

Chavez talks oil and guns in Belarus

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has visited Minsk where he held talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Aleksandr Lukashenko. The two leaders discussed the establishment of closer energy and business ties, includ

Hugo Chavez also visited a public garden in Minsk named after renowned Latin-American revolutionary Simon Bolivar.

Two Belarus-Venezuelan oil companies already exist and a third is said to be in the pipeline. It’s expected to provide services in oil production, according to the Itar-Tass news agency, which quoted the Venezuelan ambassador to Belarus Américo Díaz Núñez.
Venezuela is reportedly hiring a Belarusian labour force to build houses in the Latin American country. It’s also reported that Chavez has made a pre-payment of $US 90 million to Belarus to build a construction materials plant near Caracas.

Belarusians will also be hired to lay gas pipelines in the city of Barinas.

The meeting in Belarus was not the first between Chavez and Lukashenko. The Venezuelan leader has been to Minsk twice since coming to power. Lukashenko, who is barred from traveling to the U.S. and Europe, has been to Venezuela once.