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Opinions & Interviews

24 Jul 2015

Embassy: Venezuela intends to bolster ties with Belarus

MINSK, 24 July (BelTA) - Venezuela intends to bolster all-round cooperation with Belarus, Ms Maria Elena Rojas, First Secretary, head of the department of trade and economic cooperation of the Venezuelan Embassy in Belarus, said in an interview with BelTA.

The Belarusian-Venezuelan relations are gradually growing stronger in all areas, largely thanks to the support of the leaders of the two countries. Mutual respect between the two peoples, mutual recognition of independence and sovereignty is an important aspect of the bilateral relations, Ms Maria Elena Rojas said.

“The history of Venezuela is, to some extent, similar to the history of Belarus. The peoples of the two countries paid too high a price for freedom and independence. Belarus celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, once again reminding the world about its contribution to the struggle against German fascist invaders. All who fought against the enemy are heroes,” Ms Maria Elena Rojas said.

Every epoch has its outstanding personalities, heroes, who fundamentally influenced the course of world history. Simon Bolivar is a symbol of the liberation movement in Venezuela. The celebrations held at the Embassy of the on 24 July Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belarus were dedicated to the 232nd anniversary of his birth. For example, a ceremony was held to lay flowers to the bust of this distinguished Latin-American hero with military honors by Venezuelan cadets studying at the Military Academy. Prior to the celebrations the Venezuelan film "Bolivar" was screened at the House of Moscow. The events were attended by the heads and employees of the diplomatic missions of South American countries accredited in the Republic of Belarus, military officials, Venezuelan students and representatives of the Latin American communities living in Belarus.

Ms Maria Elena Rojas said it is important that Belarus commemorates the Venezuelan hero. In Minsk there is a Simon Bolivar garden, the Latin American cultural center of Simon Bolivar which popularizes the culture of the Latin American continent. Minsk school No. 114 also bears the name of Simon Bolivar.

"We can say with confidence that the alliance between Venezuela and Belarus in the 21st century is based, among other things, on the ideas of Simon Bolivar to establish a balance of power in the world," she said.

According to her, Simon Bolivar’s life is a story of struggle, courage, defeats and triumphs. Today we use the concept of "integration of countries and nations". Interestingly, almost two centuries ago, in 1819 Simon Bolivar brought Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador together into one state, then known as the Great Colombia. He advocated the abolition of slavery and defended the rights of the indigenous peoples to their territories, traditions and language. Actually, the theme of conservation and protection of sovereignty is still relevant in the world, Ms Maria Elena Rojas said.

"Today Simon Bolivar's ideas are being revived and are finding a wide application in the policy of the new Bolivarian leaders. The Bolivarian ideology inspires the peoples of Latin America who support such associations as UNASUR (this includes 12 countries in the region), Petrosur, ALBA, BancoSur, Petrocaribe and other integration initiatives inspired by the revolutionary ideas of the liberator Simon Bolivar," said Ms Maria Elena Rojas.

In her opinion, Venezuela and Belarus are both important countries in their respective regions. They support the integration processes and often initiate them. "For us it is also important that Belarus’ voice is becoming increasingly important on the international agenda in addressing many issues, and that Minsk has become an important platform for international negotiations, including on the subject of integration," said the official of the Embassy of Venezuela in Belarus.

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