President Museveni’s Meeting with Venezuelan Envoys to Foster Bilateral Ties
In a diplomatic rendezvous at State Lodge Nakasero on November 2, 2023, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni engaged in discussions with Venezuelan envoys. The high-profile delegation included H.E. Yvan Gil Pinto, the Minister of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and Hon. Yuri Pimentel Moura, the Vice Minister for Africa in the Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela.
President Museveni warmly welcomed the Venezuelan envoys to Uganda and extended his gratitude to Venezuelan President H.E. Nicolas Maduro for dispatching them with the objective of strengthening ties between the two nations.
During the meeting, President Museveni acknowledged that Uganda had limited contact with South American freedom fighters but mentioned their earlier connection with Cuba and former leader Fidel Castro. Cuba played a pivotal role in supporting the establishment of a medical school in Uganda and facilitated trade exchanges.
Furthermore, the Ugandan leader expressed his admiration for H.E. Nicolas Maduro and the late President Hugo Chavez for their unwavering stance against external interference that had caused suffering in Venezuela and across Latin America. He emphasized the adverse impact of external powers on the indigenous populations and newer arrivals in the region.
President Museveni drew parallels between Africa’s historical struggle with ideological and strategic challenges and Latin America’s experiences. He discussed how African nations, inspired by Pan Africanism leaders like Julius Nyerere, liberated themselves through military struggles with support from Africa and socialist countries. The period between 1963 and 1994 marked a significant phase of African emancipation, culminating in South Africa’s independence.
The President highlighted the importance of economic integration, explaining that African leaders initially underestimated its significance. However, in 1980, they recognized the necessity of creating larger markets to sustain production and foster economic growth. This realization led to initiatives like the Lagos Plan of Action, which aimed to establish free trade zones by region, eventually culminating in the formation of the Continental Free Trade Area.
Moreover, President Museveni stressed the significance of economic integration for Latin America and expressed his optimism about the potential for trade collaboration with countries like Venezuela and Brazil. He suggested that cooperation in areas such as energy, agriculture, health, and education could be mutually beneficial.
President Museveni also mentioned the eagerly anticipated participation of H.E. Maduro in the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit scheduled for January in Kampala.
In response, H.E. Yvan Gil Pinto shared positive news about Venezuela’s current situation and conveyed President Maduro’s greetings to President Museveni and the people of Uganda. He stated that their visit had dual purposes: to congratulate Uganda on its achievements and to bolster bilateral relations.
H.E. Gil Pinto expressed Venezuela’s keen interest in collaborating with Uganda in various sectors, including agriculture, tourism, education, energy, and healthcare. He highlighted the economic progress Venezuela had made over the last few years, with a notable increase in GDP, and the country’s preparations for upcoming presidential elections.
He emphasized the importance of unity and international cooperation, noting that Venezuela was committed to working hand in hand with Uganda and other nations to navigate the evolving landscape of global geopolitics.
The meeting was attended by Uganda’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Henry Okello Oryem, further strengthening the diplomatic ties between the two countries.