Venezuelan Defence minister Henry Rangel Silva and his Argentine peer Arturo Puricelli signed on Friday a cooperation agreement to further advance in the integration of the two armed forces in the framework of the Unasur Defence Council.
“For us it is essential, we were really missing having this first agreement with Venezuela” said Puricelli on Friday following the ceremony at the Venezuelan port of La Guaira where the Argentine navy tall ship ARA Libertad on a world tour called specially for the occasion.
Puricelli said that the decision of the Argentine government is to continue advancing in defence cooperation with Venezuela and above all “with the training of our officers”.
“Precisely the presence of our ARA Libertad in Venezuela is part of that integration target which both our countries have established” in the framework of the Union of South American Nations.
The bilateral agreement also includes areas such as science, technology development and joint military exercises between the armed forces of the two countries.
Minister Rangel said that the “first purpose of Unasur and the Defence Council is to ensure peace in South America”, a mission which is already taking place with the visit of an “important vessel from the Argentina Navy”.
The Venezuelan minister also revealed that currently there are over 80 officers from the Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela training in Argentina.
Puricelli on Thursday was received at the Ministry of Defence in Caracas where he said that the current defence situation is entirely different: “we are living in a process of democracy in the whole of Latin America”.
But he also recalled the path of unity displayed by the liberators of South America from the Spanish colonial empire and “which is now reflected by our presidents when they created Unasur”.
“If our peoples and us officials manage to strengthen peace in the region, most surely we will be able to advance with integration and in this way execute a concrete defence of all resources which the South American continent holds”, concluded the Argentine minister.