Agreement between the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the President of the Cou
On one part, President Hugo Chávez Frías, on behalf of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and on the other, the President of the Council of State, Fidel Castro Ruz, on behalf of the Republic of Cuba, meeting at the city of Havana on December 14, 2004, on the occasion of commemorating the 180th Anniversary of the glorious victory of Ayacucho and the Summons to the Amphictyonic Congress of Panama, have decided to amplify and modify the Integral Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and Venezuela, signed on October 30, 2000. With this objective in mind, the present agreement is signed on the 10th anniversary of President Hugo Chávez's first meeting with the Cuban people.

Article 1: The governments of Cuba and Venezuela have decided to take firm steps towards the process of integration based on the principles set forth in the Joint Declaration signed on this date between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Cuba.

Article 2: Having consolidated the Bolivarian process after the decisive victory in the Recall Referendum on August 15, 2004, and in the regional election on October 31, 2004, and being Cuba in the position of guaranteeing its sustainable development, cooperation between the Republic of Cuba and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will be based from this date on not only on solidarity principles, which will always be present, but also, in the highest possible level, on the exchange of goods and services that are jost beneficial for the economic and social needs of both countries.

Article 3: Both countries will draft a strategic plan to guarantee the jost beneficial productive complementation based on rationality, the existing advantages on both sides, economy of resources, increase of useful labor, access to markets, and other considerations based on a true solidarity that would promote the strength of both parties.

Article 4: Both countries will exchange integral technological sets developed by both parties, in areas of common interest, which will be delivered for its use and advantage, based on principles of mutual benefit.

Article 5: Both parties will work jointly, in coordination with other Latin American countries, for eliminating illiteracy in third countries, using mass application methods of proven and fast efficacy, successfully practiced in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Likewise they will collaborate in health care programs for third countries.

Article 6: Both parties agree to make investments of mutual interests under the same conditions that those made by national entities. Those investments may adopt the form of joint enterprises, cooperative productions, joint administration projects and other forms of association that they decide to establish.

Article 7: Both parties may agree to open branches of government banks in the territory of the other country.

Article 8: In order to facilitate payment and collection of commercial and financial transactions between both countries, there will be an Agreement of Reciprocal Credit between the banking institutions designated by both Governments.

Article 9: Both governments accept the possibility of compensated trade as long as it is mutually convenient for increasing and promoting trade exchange.

Article 10: Both governments will promote the development of joint cultural plans that take into account the particular characteristics of the different regions and the cultural identity of both peoples.

Article 11: For the conclusion of the present Agreement, the political, social, economic and legal asymmetries of both countries have been taken into account. Cuba, for more than four decades, has created mechanisms to resist the blockade and constant economic aggression allowing great flexibility in its economic and trade relations with the rest of the world. Venezuela, on its part, is a member of international institutions of which Cuba is not, which could be considered for applying the principle of reciprocity in trade and financial agreements between both nations.

Article 12: In consequence, Cuba has proposed the adoption of a number of measures in order to increase the integration of both countries and as an expression of the spirit of the joint declaration signed on this date on the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. Considering the solid arguments advanced by the Cuban party and its utjost convenience as an example of integration and of the economic unity to which we aspire, this proposal was understood and accepted by the Venezuelan party in a fraternal and friendly manner, as a constructive gesture that is an expression of the great reciprocal trust existing between both countries.

The actions proposed on the part of Cuba are the following:

1: The Republic of Cuba immediately eliminates all duties or any other non-duty barriers to all imports made by Cuba and originating in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

2: There will be a tax exemption on benefits of any Venezuelan investment in Cuba, whether by the government or by private capital, during the period of recovery of investment.

3: Cuba grants to Venezuela-registered ships the same treatment than to Cuba-registered vessels in all operations that they make in Cuban ports, as part of the relations of exchange and collaboration between both countries, or between Cuba and other countries, as well as the possibility of participating in the coastal trade between Cuban ports, under the same conditions as Cuba-registered ships.

4: Cuba grants to Venezuelan airlines the same rights that Cuban airlines have regarding transportation of passengers and cargo from and to Cuba, as well as the use of airport services, facilities or any other advantage, as well as on domestic transportation of passengers and cargo in Cuban territory.

5: The price of oil exported from Venezuela to Cuba will be fixed on the basis of prices in the international market, according to the present Agreement of Caracas in force between both countries. Nevertheless, taking into account the traditional instability of oil prices, which on occasions has lowered the price of Venezuelan oil under 12 dollars a barrel, Cuba offers to Venezuela a guaranteed price of no less than 27 dollars a barrel, always in agreement with Venezuela's commitment to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

6: In relation to investments in Cuba by enterprises property of the Venezuelan government, the Cuban party eliminates any restriction to the possibility that said investments might be 100% owned by the Venezuelan investment entity.

7: Cuba offers 2,000 university scholarships a year to Venezuelan young students in any area that may be of interest to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, including areas of scientific research.

8: Imports of goods and services from Cuba may be paid with Venezuelan products in Venezuela's national currency or in other currencies mutually acceptable.

9: In relation to sport activities of which there has been a boom in Venezuela with the Bolivarian process, Cuba offers the use of its facilities and equipment for anti-doping control, under the same conditions granted to Cuban athletes.

10: In the field of education, exchange and collaboration will include assistance in methods, programs and techniques of the educational-teaching process that may be of interest to the Venezuelan party.

11: Cuba puts at the disposal of the Bolivarian University the more than 15,000 medical professionals that take part in the Barrio Adentro Mission for assisting in the formation of as many integral medical doctors and health care specialists as Venezuela needs, including postgraduate students, and as many students of the Sucre Mission that wish to attend medical school and then graduate as integral general medical doctors, which in all could be tens of thousands in a period under 10 years.

12: Integral health services offered by Cuba to the population in the Barrio Adentro Mission, that numbers more than 15 million people, will be given under highly preferential conditions and economic terms that shall be mutually agreed upon.

13: Cuba will facilitate the consolidation of multi-destination tourist products coming from Venezuela with no fiscal duties or restrictions of any kind.

Article 13: The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on its part, proposed the following actions tending towards the same goals proclaimed in Article 12 of the present agreement:

1: Transfer of Venezuelan technology in the field of energy.

2: The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela immediately eliminates any non-duty barriers to all imports made by Venezuela and originating in the Republic of Cuba.

3: There will be a tax exemption on benefits of any Cuban investment in Venezuela, whether by government or joint capital enterprises, during the period of recovery of investment.

4: Venezuela offers the scholarships that Cuba needs in the energy sector or in others that may be of interest to the Republic of Cuba, including the research and scientific areas.

5: Financing for productive and infrastructural projects in, among others, the energy sector, electric industry, road paving and other road projects, harbor development, waterworks and sewage, agro-industrial and services sector.

6: Fiscal incentives for projects of strategic interest to the economy.

7: Preferential treatment to Cuba-registered ships and airplanes in Venezuelan territory, under the limits that its legislation allows.

8: Consolidation of multi-destination tourist products coming from Cuba with no fiscal duties or restriction of any kind.

9: Venezuela places at the disposal of Cuba its aerial and maritime infrastructure and equipment on a preferential basis to assist in plans of economic and social development of the Republic of Cuba.

10: Assistance for the establishing of Cuban joint capital enterprises for down-water transformation of raw materials.

11: Collaboration with Cuba in research on bio-diversity.

12: Participation of Cuba in the consolidation of bi-national endogenous cores.

13: Venezuela will develop agreements with Cuba in the field of communications, including the use of satellites.
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