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September 9, 2008
Venezuela’s Chavez announces African intentions

Thiago de Aragão is the Latin American senior research associate at the Foreign Policy Center in London and the director for Latin American political risk analysis at Arko Advice. He writes for Latin American Politican Analysis.

Venezuela: Chavez aims at Africa

Hugo Chavez announced his intention in creating political bases in African soil. Arriving in South Africa for an official visit, Chavez said that he aims at “creating political and legal bases to antecipate bilateral cooperation”. Chavez added to his comment that his goal is to “spread the basis for South-South cooperation in the beginning of the 21st century”. To Chavez, South America is heading towards a “new independence” from neoliberal and imperial forces.

In his evaluation, there is in Africa a renewal movement that seeks paths of sovereignty to its people. He believes that the Bank of the South must not be restrained only to South America, but to Africa and Asia as well.

We can deduce from past behaviour that Chavez is again focusing on his foreign policy instead of domestic policy. His new laws that approved many bills that have been rejected by popular referendum last year, caused some internal problem to him. He will step on the brakes for a while (domestically) preparing the terrain for the municipal elections in November. Until then he will oscillate high foreign profile with low domestic profile.

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