Houses, trucks and Nicolai in business suit

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While President Hugo Chavez was waiting for the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to arrive to Miraflores Palace in Caracas, he did not economize in adjectives for him: best friend, soul brother, strong man and revolutionary.

He agreed to answer only one question from journalists who were invited to cover the visit while a fancy black car entered the palace, but only one female voice was heard asking for the agreements both presidents would sign later.

A journalist behind me wondered why nobody else had asked something to Chavez, the real center of information in Venezuela, feared by many people and adored by others. The journalists just laughed. That was his first visit to Miraflores, after arrive in Venezuela from Peru. Peru is a different country.

"The Empire's spokesmen call him the last dictator in Europe, but he won his last election with 90 percent of the votes, the same victory we will have here on October 7th", Chavez added.
Chavez will battle against the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles, in the October election.

Campaigns will start on July 1st with huge marches from both political parties, while polls show Chavez leading with a two-digit gap.

"He is a great leader. He knew how to take the helm while the Soviet Union was falling down. He built his leadership and is now ruling a country that is a model of prosperity and unemployment-free," Chavez said.

The car arrived at the front door. Lukashenko got out of the luxury car while Chavez repeated a question to him: "Where is Nicolai? Where is Nicolai?"

Lukashenko pointed out the next car in the line. After a few minutes, a child wearing a business suit appeared. He was Nicolai, the youngest son of Alexander Lukashenko and "a friend" of Chavez, Venezuelan president said.

Both presidents hugged and talked about trucks, factories and building houses in Venezuela in front of the video cameras. All eyes were looking at the little child, who stayed quiet and finally shook hands with Chavez after a translation from an officer behind him.

Belarus and Venezuela have strengthened their cooperation in the last decade. Industries, houses, fabrics, food, petroleum and arms are among the goods they are sharing.

"We achieved a close cooperation mechanism. We have signed more than 200 agreements so far and today we will open new industries and build houses together," Chavez said, looking at Lukashenko and sharing his microphone with him from time to time to avoid protocol.


Lukashenko has visited Venezuela several times in the last five years. In this trip to Latin America, he plans to visit Brasil, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador, countries aligned with Chavez's thinking.

"We will deliver all these projects before the date we set. We did not come here to get rich, we want to transfer technology and knowledge," Lukashenko said taking his son's arm, while Chavez took the other.

Both leaders had a short meeting and signed more than 20 agreements that were not disclosed by the Venezuelan government.

In a long televised transmission from Miraflores, Chavez and Lukashenko talked for hours with workers, ministers and Venezuelan officers, giving details about joint projects and remembering previous meetings.

Journalist were not allowed access to the room.

"We will build schools for you, Nicolai," promised Chavez.

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