Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez paid a visit to his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko and inked an oil deal with the former Soviet republic. Other world leaders have avoided Belarus on grounds of human rights violations.
Chavez, a self-styled socialist revolutionary, was making his third visit to
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, described by Chavez as a "brother", has long railed against the influence of the
"We are struggling against the same adversary -- U.S. imperialism, against countries which serve as lackeys of that imperialism," Chavez said after receiving the "Friendship of Nations" award from the Belarussian leader.
"We are winning, but a long battle still lies ahead. The hegemonist aims have collapsed. American imperialism will continue to fall."
Lukashenko was more reserved during the ceremony in a square named after Latin American revolutionary hero Simon Bolivar, praising
"No president of any other country has done as much as this man has done for our country since our independence," he said of Chavez. "No one deserves this award more than you, Hugo. Please look after yourself."
The venture, together with Venezuelan state company PDVSA, is expected to produce 640,000 tonnes of oil this year, and a memorandum signed during Chavez's visit provided it with three new deposits. Plans had originally called for the enterprise to produce 900,000 tonnes annually from 2008.
"All issues should be resolved within two months and capacity will be doubled," Deputy Belarussian Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said during the talks.
Lukashenko is barred from the
Date created : 2008-07-23