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Brazil Can Push Its Ethanol with Chavez’s Blessing

Venezuelan president Chavez with his Brazilian counterpart Lula

Venezuelan president Chavez with his Brazilian counterpart Lula South American leaders meeting in Venezuela for the first regional energy summit agreed Tuesday, April 17, on a declaration that includes traditional and alternative fuels, such as ethanol, plus the creation of the South American Energy Council to follow up hemispheric energy related agreements.

Addressing the closing ceremony host president Hugo Chavez said that the energy summit had concentrated on four basic guidelines: oil, natural gas, alternative fuels and energy saving.

The promotion of biofuels to supplement hydrocarbons production which became a controversy issue between Venezuela and Brazil (the world's leading ethanol exporter) was finally ironed out behind doors and a consensus reached.

"We have reached a consensus so that in the final declaration, the use of biofuels is encouraged" said Chilean Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman.

Venezuela's Chavez is concerned that increased ethanol production could cut food supplies and worsen poverty adding that the ethanol accord signed last month by US President George W. Bush and Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is "true craziness' and could end draining agricultural output and tightening U.S. grip on the region's resources.

However Chavez denied any controversy on the issue backing alternative fuels as a way to promote increased oil and bio-fuels production. He said the plan can boost both oil- and agriculture-based economies.

"The press is saying there's an ethanol war," Chavez told reporters. "No. Ethanol is a valid strategy as long as it doesn't affect food production."

Chavez also called for the construction of 13 new Latin American oil refineries to reduce reliance on U.S. processing plants. He said ethanol plants should be built next door to the refineries to boost output of gasoline blended with ethanol.

The summit agreed to create a regional alliance, to be known as the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, instead of the South American Community of Nations, as well as the South American Energy Council to regulate and promote cooperation in the sector.

A small functional permanent secretariat for the Union of South American nations will be seated in Quito, Ecuador.

All South American presidents were present at the Isla Margarita summit with the exception of Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez and Peru's Alan Garcia.

Mercopress

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • conceicao

    How easy is it for Brasil to play this guy? I haven’t seen someone screwed into the ground like this since the defender Ronaldinho wasted before passing off for the first goal against England in the
    ’02 Cup.

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    tail of the dog
    is it me or does any one else see castros arm up chaves butt making him talk

    While Chavez has his oil companys and he is #1
    as small as Ecuador they are #2
    but are less spoken of by booth chavez and lula
    why is that .
    there nations oil export and there tursimo is well and above most SA countries but yet no one speaks of them
    they use US money , labor is cheep also land boom has not hit there yet and you should see some of the hill side views on to the ocean from that side of SA
    did that movie a few years back chase every one off .

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