An image taken from reports in the recent past, during 'cold moments' referred to by Portuguese ambassador

Portugal wants to deepen bilateral relations with Venezuela, says ambassador

TAP will be resuming direct flights between Lisbon and Caracas from next week

João Pedro Fins do Lago, Portugal’s ambassador in Caracas said that Lisbon will be taking every opportunity to deepen bilateral relations with Venezuela, the oil-rich country that only days ago signed a 20-year cooperation with Iran.

“Portugal, a country deeply attached to multilateralism, the promotion of human rights, democracy, respect for the rule of law, political pluralism and individual freedoms, is committed to deepening relations with Venezuela, taking advantage of every opportunity that may arise in the near future,” Mr Fins do Lago told a reception of over 300 people who attended an event at his official residence to mark ‘Dia de Portugal’ celebrations.

“The deep and historical relations between Portugal and Venezuela are today, as in the past, marked by a deep respect between peoples, cultures and habits. As a result of various economic and political facts, aggravated by the pandemic situation which still persists, these relations have gone through cold moments in recent years”, he said. “There are, however, signs of hope.” 

João Pedro Fins do Lago said he was convinced “that the good paths are always those that arise from dialogue and the safe bridges are those that are built on both sides, where there is the will to cooperate and jointly find paths that lead to mutual prosperity and the common good”.

The diplomat explained that “in this context” he could inform that “TAP will resume, as of June 21, direct, weekly connections between Lisbon and Caracas.”

“It will be a moment that symbolises the future of an increasingly close relationship between the peoples of Venezuela and Portugal, between Venezuela and Europe,” he said, adding that the United Nations Oceans Conference coming in Lisbon later this month hopes to secure a “final declaration” that will “seek to contribute to a common action plan for several countries under the scope of Sustainable Development Goal 14 of the UN’s Agenda 2030”.

Venezuela has a strong Lusodescendant community (an estimated half million people) which is also the largest community of European origin within the South American country that has been dogged by US sanctions and political turmoil.

As to the ‘cold moments in recent years‘, there has been no sign yet through the national media as to whether or not Portugal’s courts have decided to release the purported €1.5 billion of Venezuelan funds locked in accounts with Novo Banco.

LUSA/ Portugal Resident