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Agenda set for Venez. President’s visit

Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro.

The agenda has been set for a one-day state visit of Venezuela’s new President, Nicolas Maduro who is scheduled to arrive in Guyana on Saturday, August 31, according to the Government Information Agency (GINA).

Following his arrival at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, President Maduro will meet his counterpart, President Donald Ramotar at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Liliendaal for a bilateral meeting.

Government officials from the two countries are also scheduled to meet at the same venue for separate bilateral talks.

The parties will then proceed to State House for lunch prior to a press briefing. The State visit will conclude with a social event at the GICC that will see the participation of civil society.

The visit will be Maduro’s first since becoming President of the Bolivarian Republic, to a country that has maintained a longstanding, fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship for a number of years.

Maduro, a protégé of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez became the Spanish-speaking country’s new leader after winning the country’s April 14 general elections.

Hours after Chavez’s March 8 funeral, Maduro was installed the interim President and after taking the oath he hailed President Donald Ramotar who was in attendance, as an extraordinary man of the Caribbean.

During that occasion, he lauded his predecessor for completely changing the foreign policy of Venezuela with the goal of resolving outstanding issues between Guyana and Venezuela, based on brotherhood.

The existing relationship between Guyana and Venezuela is based on mutual respect and understanding, and has led to progress in economic trade, beneficial to both countries.

Guyana is a beneficiary under PetroCaribe, a stewardship initiative under Chavez which has allowed signatory nations to benefit from cheap Venezuelan fuel. In May, Guyana signed a contract for the supply of 140,000 tonnes of paddy and 70,000 tonnes of white rice, continuing an agreement that was sealed for rice exports with Chavez and Guyana’s former President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Recently the Hugo Chavez Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration that was built with part funding of US$2M from the Venezuelan Government, was commissioned. At that occasion President Ramotar said the Government of Guyana applauded President Maduro for continuing the legacy to pursue policies for the advancement of the people of Venezuela and of Latin America.

President Ramotar also reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to work with the Government of Venezuela for the enhancement of relations through the consolidation of existing programme of cooperation and exploration of new areas that will engender mutual benefits and preserve a climate of mutual respect.