Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Thursday announced his administration's plan to rejoin the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), a subject he had discussed earlier this week with his Colombian colleague Gustavo Petro.
Venezuela leaving the CAN in 2006 had been decided by then-President Hugo Chávez after joining the bloc in 1973. Chávez argued that the alliance was mortally wounded by free trade agreements between Colombia and Peru with the United States.
We are determined to join the Andean Community of Nations with all our productive capacity, with our commercial capacity, and a growing economy, Maduro said. The time has come to return to this organization to build with our brothers of the Andean South America, he added during a broadcast message.
Everything has its time, everything has its moment, and the time has come and the moment to go to the Andean Community of Nations to build new processes with our brothers of the Andean South America to progressively integrate the productive capacities of the region and increase international trade to build in our countries a great economic zone here in South America, he added.
Maduro also pointed out that measures were also being taken to increase bi-national trade with Colombia and thus build a great economic zone” in the region.
The Andean Pact, also known as the Cartagena Agreement, was signed in 1969 by Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. Chile left in 1976, under dictator Augusto Pinochet.
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