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By Tony Pagliaro

19.12.05 | The State-owned Venezuelan “PDVSA” has finally landed in Uruguay. It has opened its first representative office in the Southern Cone in the city of Montevideo. The main project the office is to be involved in is the export of Venezuelan oil from the Orinoco basin to be refined and turned into gas-oil in the Uruguayan State-owned refinery located in “Las Tejas”. This should involve a $600 million capital investment in “Las Tejas”.

The volcanic Chávez announced as well that his country will invest in a bio-etanol plant that will use for such purpose sugar cane. His pal Fidel Castro is probably following this particular project closely, since he has a lot of precisely that type of raw material.

In addition, Banco Nacional de Desarrollo (Bandes) of Venezuela will grant (with Banco República del Uruguay) a $3 million credit line to finance small and medium size new projects in Uruguay.

What does not seem to be moving forward is the association with a Venezuelan airline PLUNA (the Sate-owned Uruguayan airline whose financial health is in deep trouble) is trying to obtain.

In the meantime the new Uruguayan socialist government has created 383 different labor unions in 2005, thus “improving” the local business climate for new foreign investors, like Hugo “Deep Pocket” Chávez.

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