RUSSIA’S CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR MADURO AND VENEZUELA




Robert HARNEIS -TDO-(FRANCE)- Russian and Venezuelan authorities have announced a "ten-year cooperation map" aimed at developing production in the fields of energy, industrialization and mining.

Russia is one of Maduro’s few remaining key allies after the US, alongside many European and Latin American countries, recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.

As a result of the last meeting of the Russia-Venezuela High Level Intergovernmental Commission (CIAN), which was held in Caracas, Russia announced that it will invest an additional US$4 billion in the Bolivarian economy by the end of 2019.

"In the midst of difficulties, we can move forward together through the political and diplomatic coordination that we have developed in response to the imperial harassment and aggression, of which Russia is a victim, too," Venezuela's Industries and Production Minister Tareck El Aisame said. At the CIAN meeting, Russian and Venezuelan officials announced a "ten-year cooperation map" in which productive initiatives in energy, industries and mining are being proposed.

Among these actions against the blockade is the development of foreign trade through the promotion of alternatives to the international financial system.

Currently, besides buying Russian products with the Venezuelan cryptocurrency called "Petro", the Maduro administration is developing a digital payment system based on blockchain technology.

This system will allow the South American country to avoid carrying out financial transactions in dollars and in banks linked to the SWIFT system.

Created by former President Hugo Chavez and President Vladimir Putin in 2002, the CIAN is a bilateral cooperation mechanism which focuses on both the exchange of working methods and political orientations and the development of bilateral agreements.

Through this bilateral instrument, a relationship has been established between both countries whose purpose is to limit the effects of the U.S. blockade. Previously, the CIAN also met during President Nicolas Maduro's visit to Moscow on Sep. 25 this year.

At the same time as the CIAN meeting Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a visit to Cuba. “There is only one elected president in Venezuela, and it is Nicolas Maduro… Only the Venezuelans themselves can overcome their differences through dialogue.” Medvedev was speaking at the University of Havana, where he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree.  He accused the US of trying to change governments, of intervening “in any country” and of investing money to destabilize political systems.

At the start of his visit, Medvedev stressed Russia’s good relations with Cuba at a time when US President Donald Trump’s administration has stepped up pressure on the island over its support for Maduro.

Venezuela is facing a deep political and economic crisis, with Maduro trying to ward off opposition attempts to oust him while millions of people suffer severe inflation and goods shortages.