General: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Signs Multiple Regional Agreements
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez toured Latin America in August signing energy and other cooperation agreements with several governments. Chavez made a similar tour of the region earlier in 2007 to counter US President George W. Bush's effort to show that the US was not neglecting Latin America (see NotiCen, 2007-03-15) and to promote his Alternativa Bolivariana de las Americas (ALBA), a funding and integration effort that seeks to give governments of the region a development alternative to neoliberal financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Argentina: energy-security treaty
Chavez sought to expand his petrodollar influence in South America as he launched a four-nation tour Aug. 6 to promote his country's entry into a regional trade bloc and to offer energy and financial deals to allies. Reporters describe Chavez's effort as one that would leverage Venezuela's vast oil reserves and create a "grand South American alliance" to counter US dominance.
Chavez met with Argentine President Nestor Kirchner after signaling Venezuela's plans to acquire up to US$1 billion in Argentine bonds in installments--the latest in a series of deals cementing ties between the allies. "This is an important deal, highly important for our political and geopolitical ties," Chavez said.
Chavez later joined Kirchner for a televised ceremony in Buenos Aires in which the leaders agreed to a treaty on energy security. Governments in Ecuador and Uruguay also signed the Tratado de Seguridad Energetica (TSE), which was worked out at the first South American Energy Summit (I Cumbre Energetica Suramericana) in April.
The agreement calls for cooperation on energy initiatives including the supply and distribution of natural gas through pipelines, joint oil-refining projects, and coordinated efforts on distributing power and alternative fuels. Countries in the Southern Cone like Argentina and Chile have suffered from energy …
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Publication information: Article title: General: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Signs Multiple Regional Agreements. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs. Publication date: August 24, 2007. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Latin American Data Base/Latin American Institute. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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