Ambassador of Venezuela Speaks at GFDD and FUNGLODE’s Global Roundtable About His Country, Post-Chavez

May 25, 2013

During its online broadcasting program “Global Roundtable,” in April, GFDD New York office cordially welcomed the Permanent Representative of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations, Jorge Valero Briceño.

The Ambassador has extensive experience as a public official both at the national and international levels. His posts have included Director of the National Border Council, Deputy in the Venezuelan National Congress,
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, board member of the Investor’s Fund of Venezuela, and Governor of the OPEC Fund for International Development.

The questions that stood at the core of our discussion with Ambassador Valero encompassed current issues in Venezuela, Chavez’s legacy, current instability in the country, President Maduro’s political and economic plans, and international affairs
in the context of Latin America.

To begin with, His Excellency cited President Jimmy Carter who said that the Venezuelan electoral system is the most efficient in the world. With the pride in his voice, the honored guest continued that the newly elected President Nicolas Maduro is doing everything possible to unite the people of Venezuela and improve their standards of living. What was accomplished by former president Chavez, including reducing
extreme poverty by 70% and unemployment rate by 7.5%, providing financial support for  stay-in-home mothers, free health care and free education (college enrollment in the country is the fifth highest in Latin America) will continue “to live as part of the “Chavismo.” For the prosperity of Venezuela, President Maduro has put these policies as the high priority on his agenda.

In regards to the economy, Venezuela is trying to bring
diversity to its production lines expanding them beyond the oil industry to such sectors as electricity, housing and gas.

With the national army as a democratic force that supports initiatives to control any kind of unrest in the country, the government manages to keep the violence rate lower than in the US.

In reference to the US-Venezuela relations, Mr. Valero asserted that Venezuela will act to pursue its own political interests without accepting
“orders/pressure from any other interested party.” Venezuela is a democratic nation of “pueblo democratico,” noted the Ambassador, and President Obama made a mistake by not recognizing President Maduro as the legitimate President of Venezuela.

Towards the end of this incredibly informative session, the distinguished guest dwelled upon the role Venezuela plays on the political arena in Latin America. According to Ambassador Valero,
the country is a key actor on the continent providing support to other states such as the republic of Haiti. The government’s donations to rebuild Haiti were the highest in the region. In addition, Venezuela, contributing to cooperation of Latin American countries, is the founder of the ALBA, an international organization that facilitates social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and is part of
Mercosur, an economic and political agreement among Argentine, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

To conclude, His Excellency remarked that he is very enthusiastic about the direction that Venezuela is heading to and example the country sets for the rest of the world.

About the Global Roundtable
In close association with the United Nations, the Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN, GFDD organizes regular meetings with UN Ambassadors and other prominent figures in the international community in an effort to spread the news, knowledge and understanding of other countries, global issues and work of different United Nations bodies to its audience in the Dominican Republic, the US and around the

The regular series, GFDD Global Roundtable is also a part of GFDD’s program to support the work of the United Nations and, as a non-governmental institution affiliated to it, contribute to the visibility and understanding of its work.

About Ambassador Jorge Valero
Ambassador Jorge Valero is the Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the Organization of American States.
Before his current appointment, Ambassador Valero served as President of the Latin American Parliament’s Social Debt Commission.  He has extensive service as a public official, including time as the Director of the National Border Council and as a Deputy in the Venezuelan National Congress. Ambassador Valero has represented Venezuela as Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Ambassador to the
Republic of Korea.  He served as a board member of the Investor’s Fund of Venezuela and as Governor of the OPEC Fund for International Development. Ambassador Valero was President of the Presidential Preparatory Commission for the Second OPEC Summit.