ONLY VENEZUELAN OIL? Maduro looks to Russia, China to diversify crippled economy

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CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said, after receiving a report from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) concerning the joint program he is undertaking with this entity, that Caracas must renew its productive forces.

“Venezuela has to recover, has to change, has to renew all its productive forces because we have everything to support our social development, the rule of law, social happiness, but we have to create wealth, not just manage it” added the Venezuelan leader during the broadcast of the state television.

According to Maduro, international support is needed to boost the domestic productive sector.

“There is room for production, for growth, Venezuela needs support, needs help, and Venezuela has received support and assistance, we feel accompanied at the level of the United Nations system,” he said.

The Bolivarian leader added that his government is betting on the independence of oil income. According to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Venezuelan oil revenues represent about 99% of its export revenues.

“We are just beginning the path of the post-rent oil era. We are taking steps to organize ourselves well, to define precisely the direction, the objective, the methodology […] to unleash the productive forces that must be deployed with all their potential,” he added.

Capacity development

Maduro stressed during the speech that, with the support of UNIDO, Venezuela is working to increase production of coffee, stevia, rice, soybeans, cocoa, maize, sugar cane and grains, initially aiming to meet the needs of its population. He also emphasized that his country produces the best coffee in the world and accused Colombian exporters of buying it at low cost from Venezuelan producers to sell it as if it were from the neighboring country.

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Countries such as Russia, Turkey and China were cited by the Venezuelan president as an example for Venezuela in developing its productive capacities.

The vice president for the economic sector, Tareck El Aissami, also intervened on the occasion and assured that, through plans developed with UNIDO since 2018, the transfer of management and improvements in the productive sphere will be achieved.

On Friday, Maduro met with Diego Masera, head of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Latin America and Caribbean Division. The meeting was attended by representatives of companies from various countries, including Russia and China , and was broadcast on Twitter.

“Venezuela’s [economic] model has been deformed. It was dependent on oil and we are beginning the road that will lead [Venezuela] out of this dependence on oil prices,” Maduro said during the meeting.

UNIDO noted positive changes in Venezuela’s industrial sector and handed Maduro its analysis report on the country’s agricultural industrial complex.

According to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Venezuelan oil revenues represent about 99% of its export revenues.

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