The Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodríguez declared on Tuesday that China, Russia, and Iran are the “new north” of Venezuela’s foreign policy, meaning the Maduro regime takes its cues from those three states.
Rodríguez made the remarks during an event at the Chinese embassy in Caracas to mark 45 years of diplomatic relations between Venezuela and China, organized by Chinese Ambassador Li Baorong.
“China-Venezuela relations had a very special momentum with Commander Hugo Chávez who oversaw a new world of justice and peace,” said Rodríguez. “China, Russia, and Iran are the new north of Venezuela’s diplomatic relations.”
The 50-year-old went on to promise China continued access to Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, despite the ongoing collapse of the country’s state-run oil company Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA), with oil production recently falling under one million barrels a day for the first time in three decades.
“As President [Nicolas] Maduro said, all the oil that China needs is in Venezuela and we are committed to Venezuela being a supplier to the Asian nation,” she said.
State propaganda outlet VTV credited socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro with improving relations with Beijing, noting that he has made ten visits to China since seizing power in the wake of Hugo Chávez’s death in 2013. Around 730 mutual projects and 500 new agreements between the two countries are also in place.
Chinese Ambassador Li Baorong reportedly “thanked the Vice President for her presence at the diplomatic headquarters to celebrate the occasion” and “recalled that Presidents Xi Jinping and Nicolás Maduro reached a consensus to take integral strategic relations to a higher level.”
“Our two nations have developed a beautiful relationship. We currently enjoy a very special friendship, counting on a deep political mutual trust,” said Li. “The China-Venezuela friendship constitutes a shared precious wealth. These 45 years brings us to a new starting point where both parties are willing to move forward and boost bilateral cooperation.”
The socialist regime has for years been determined to strengthen relations with other authoritarian dictatorships, with both China and Russia providing vital financial and diplomatic support that many analysts argue has ensured the regime’s survival amid the worst economic and humanitarian crisis in the country’s history.
While Maduro’s government continues to be interested in ties to those countries, there have been multiple reports of Chinese and Russian officials becoming frustrated with the Maduro regime’s inability to pay back its debts in the form of oil payments on time and in sufficient quantities. Relations with Iran do not appear as affected by Venezuela’s economic collapse. The two countries sharing the mutual challenge of economic sanctions imposed by the United States that have heavily affected their ability to export oil around the world.