On an official visit to China, the vice president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, met this Wednesday (6) with Dilma Rousseff, president of the New Development Bank (NDB).
According to a statement issued by the Venezuelan government, the meeting served to “address topics of interest that aim to strengthen the different energy and commercial areas.” The president of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA and Minister of Oil, Pedro Tellechea, also participated in the meeting.
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Through social media, the vice-president classified the visit as a “cordial meeting” in search of “strengthening south-south cooperation”.
“On behalf of President Nicolás Maduro, we reiterate the commitment of the Bolivarian government of Venezuela to contribute to strengthening south-south cooperation. We believe in building a new global financial architecture,” he said.
Representative Nicolás Maduro Guerra, who is also part of Rodríguez’s delegation and was present at the meeting with Dilma, stated that the meeting served to “get to know the financing mechanisms, the new financial architecture and to ratify Venezuela’s desire to join the this instance.”
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Rodríguez’s visit to Shanghai and the Brics Bank comes days after the bloc’s last summit in which members agreed to expand the group and accepted the entry of six other countries. Venezuela had already expressed its intentions to be part of BRICS in August, when President Nicolás Maduro confirmed the country’s formal proposal to the bloc.
For Venezuelan economist Katisuka López, Delcy and Dilma’s meeting could mean “the search for financing, cooperation and technical support for infrastructure projects, which would result in investments for Venezuela.”
“An approach and possible entry of the country into the bank would be a great opportunity, because in addition to having an institution of this magnitude, it would have the support of a person who knows the Venezuelan reality, former president Dilma Rousseff.”, he tells Brasil de Fact.
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Target of more than 900 sanctions, Caracas is facing a crisis in the oil industry, the country’s main source of foreign currency, after having its exports practically paralyzed by the blockade imposed by the USA. The drop in income, the scarcity of dollars and the impossibility of making payments in the international financial system generated several economic turbulences in the country.
López states that Venezuela’s possible accession to the NDB could bring financial relief to Caracas as it would help the country to depend less on the US currency to carry out negotiations with other countries.
“The fact that most multilateral financial institutions are controlled by Europe and the USA makes it practically impossible for a country like Venezuela to obtain credit from bodies such as the IMF, World Bank and IDB”, he states.
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Opening credit lines for Venezuela to carry out infrastructure projects would, in the economist’s opinion, be a way in which the country can return to growth and stabilize the crisis that began in 2014.
“If these investment projects generate jobs, there will be an internal circulation of resources that can allow a gradual improvement in the economic situation. Monetary stability, salary improvements, credits for producers, inflation control, in short, could generate a domino effect that implies a way out of the crisis”, he says.
Possible oil deal?
After the arrival of the Venezuelan vice president in China this Tuesday, the Bloomberg agency said that the trip would serve to raise funds for the oil industry. Citing anonymous sources, the portal stated that the mission should negotiate the creation of possible joint companies between PDVSA and Beijing.
Currently, China is one of the main customers of Venezuelan oil, but it no longer has a direct participation in domestic production. Furthermore, the high risks involved in purchasing Venezuelan products mean that they are sold at discounts, well below the international price.
According to the latest OPEC report, Venezuela produced around 800,000 barrels of oil per day in August. The figure grew after the license granted by the USA to the energy giant Chevron, which resumed operating the mixed plants it has in the country with capacity to produce 200 thousand barrels a day.
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For Venezuelan sociologist Ociel López, it is unlikely that Beijing will accept any oil agreement with Venezuela as “partnerships with Saudi Arabia are much more advantageous for the Asian country”.
The professor at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) still believes that Rodríguez’s trip and possible conversations about agreements in the energy sector “would also serve to put pressure on the Americans, who have now returned to benefiting from Venezuelan production.”
Venezuela not Brics
Even before confirming the sending of a formal proposal, Maduro had already mentioned his intentions to take Venezuela to the BRICS in May, when he visited Brasília and met with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).
At the time, the Venezuelan classified the bloc as an “advanced element” in the construction of what he called a “new, multipolar world”. Lula said he was in favor of Venezuela’s entry, but that the decision would depend on the other members.
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To Brasil de Fato, deputy Jesús Faria, president of the National Assembly’s Economy Committee, said that the country is optimistic about joining the Brics, as “we have a lot to add.”
“I’m not just talking about oil, but also about an example of resistance against all the abuses of a current global economic order and this is precisely what Brics wants to replace, with its principles of cooperation, respect for self-determination”, he said.
For the parliamentarian, the political aspects of the bloc are also important as they would mean a “moral authority of nations and are part of our vision of multipolarity”.
Editing: Thales Schmidt