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Brazil’s Lula Goes to Venezuela

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be off on a trip
Sunday, February 13, to three countries: Venezuela, Guyana, and
Surinam. According to the Presidential Press and Information Secretariat, the
Presidential committee will discuss cooperation projects and other matters of
common interest with the three countries.

This will be Lula’s first visit to Venezuela after the ratification of the
free trade agreement between the Mercosur and the Andean Community on February
1. The Brazilian government wants Surinam and Guyana to belong to the new bloc,
seeking closer economic, social, and institutional ties.

There is still an idea of expanding relations with the countries of the
Caribbean as a whole. For this reason, Lula will be in Surinam on February 16,
to participate in the XVI Conference of Heads of Government of the
Caribbean-Caricom Community.

This economic and political cooperation bloc, established in 1994, works on
behalf of the cultural, economic, social , and scientific development of the
Caribbean peoples, as well as for improvement in their living standards.

Surinam and Guyana are members of the community, made up of other nations
that, in recent years, have intensified their relations with Brazil.

Haiti, where Brazilian military forces are coordinating a United Nations
peace mission, is one of them. In terms of humanitarian aid, Guyana has also
received Brazilian support. In January, 32 tons fo food, medications, and water
were sent to Guyana to help flood victims.

Translation: David Silberstein


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