The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is situated on the northern coast of South America. Home to an estimated population of 29.1 million, it covers around 916,445 square kilometres which includes the Andes mountains and the Amazon Basin Rainforest. Its main export is oil. Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 but continued resistance led in 1811 to it becoming the first Spanish American country to declare independence. A chequered political history followed which saw dictatorships rise and fall, as well as military coups. The current president is founder of the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200, Hugo Chávez.
Venezuela’s leader in Nicaragua for bilateral talks
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrived on Saturday night in Nicaragua to meet with his counterpart Daniel Ortega for talks to increase cooperation between the two Latin American countries.
“We came to strengthen our bilateral ties, to ratify energy ties, (and) to expand our cooperation in the commercial, financial, social, and production sectors,” Maduro said as he arrived in the Nicaraguan capital.
Ortega, who along with his wife Rosario Murillo welcomed the Venezuelan leader at the airport, spoke effusively of the visit, which he said aims to reinforce “the commitment to continue struggling for the unity of Latin American and Caribbean peoples,” state television reported.
The leaders are expected to assess progress on construction of an oil refinery promised by the late Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s long-running leader who died of cancer earlier this year.
A local company has already begun building a complex of tanks, with the capacity to store up to a million barrels of Venezuelan oil.
This is Maduro’s first visit to Nicaragua since winning election on April 14 in a special election called after Chavez’ death.
Venezuela is the main source of aid to the Ortega government, contributing some US$2 billion between 2007 and last year.