Jun 5, 2012, 1:26 PM
The ceremony held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi was presided over Eduardo Medina Rubio, ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Maite Tejero de Medina.
Ambassador Rubio delivered a statement, as follows: “Two hundred and three years ago, the Congress of Venezuela declared the nation’s independence on 5th July 1811...”
He added that Venezuela was “the first Spanish American colony to declare its independence”.
He continued: “The Venezuelan declaration of independence was the statement adopted by the Congress of Venezuelan provinces, through which Venezuelans made the decision to break away from the Spanish Crown in order to establish a new nation based on the premises of equality of individuals, abolition of censorship and dedication to freedom of expression.
“These principles were enshrined for the new nation, and were radically opposed to the political, cultural and social practices that had existed during 300 years of colonization.
“The process sparked a broader war of independence across Latin America led by Venezuelan fighter Simon Bolivar, after whom Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution” was named.
“The first centenary of independence in 1910 brought us an America far removed from what the independence fighters dreamed. A system was imposed on us that subordinated their region to the extraction of raw materials to generate wealth far from their lands.
“The second centenary, just three years ago, found the people of South America in a new stage of transformation that was referred to, by some Latin American politician, as ‘the second independence’...
“Nowadays, with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas (ALBA) we have advances in commercial, cultural and financial integration, as well as efforts in pursuit of energy, food, technological and other kinds of advantages.
“This is an alliance to fight against colonialism and imperialism. ALBA and UNASUR, both of them stupendous mechanisms of integration, are two organizations that show the way to leave behind underdevelopment and the economic, cultural and social dependence.
“The same courage and determination of Hugo Chavez, President Nicolas Maduro, is fighting strongly for unity between South America and Africa.
“The importance given to foreign policy by the Venezulan government at the ASAforum, has been expressed in our active participation in three summits held respectively in Abuja, Nigeria, in Margarita Island, Venezuela, and the last one in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
“All these meetings of heads of state and government of South America and Africa, led to know that we must complement our agricultureto confront the hunger of our people, to extend the possibilities for everybody to access schools and universities, make an effort to overcome the communications and health problems, as well as make an effort for coordination to provide energy for the development of the people”.
“The ASA forum is an instance of integration, unity and South-South cooperation. It is an important step in strengthening the political, social and cultural ties in order to reduce inequality and eradicate structural poverty”.
Ambassador Rubio added: “In terms of our relations with the sister Republic of The Gambia, I can say that we share the same goals and values, evidenced in the significant number of agreements in different sectors such as agriculture, education, health, economic, energy, communication and technology, etc.
“Since 2007, Venezuela received more than 160 students in different areas of academic training and 34 patients who were children with congenital heart disease, who were operated onin the children’s cardiac hospital in Caracas.
“Particularly, it has to be mentioned that the last agreement signed in Caracas was on civil aviation in order to operate direct flights from Caracas to Banjul”. He added that the agreement was ratified by Venezuela’s National Assembly, and is now pending at the National Assembly of The Gambia.
Under the framework of ASA, a technical meeting among South American and African nations was convened last year in Caracas, with a view to create an economic fund which shapes mechanisms for cooperation between these two regions.
The fund would provide support tom African countries, if they join the Bank of the South of Aouth American nations, the ambassador of Venezuela announced.