The Bolivarian governments are working together to ease restrictions on migrants travelling between their countries and to boost bilateral oil trade.
Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Guillaume Long met with members of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, where they discussed strengthening relations between the two Bolivarian nations.
Top of the agenda were issues related to bilateral migration and the sharing of resources. Both governments reaffirmed the “right of mobility” for their respective residents and the need to share crude oil resources.
“We have given a comprehensive review of all the issues on the bilateral agenda,” Long said Wednesday, Prensa Latina reports.
“We have very rich and active relations.”
The Ecuadorean and Venezuelan governments are now in the process of creating joint resolutions that ease restrictions on migrants traveling between the two countries.
Ecuador has become home to thousands of Venezuelans leaving their country as a result of opposition groups sabotaging the socialist economy. Between 2013 and 2016, about 17,000 Venezuelans moved to the Andean country, according to Ecuador’s Interior Ministry.
Venezuela currently has one of the highest population of Ecuadorean emigres, most of whom fled during the country’s financial crisis in 2000.
Both countries are also in the process of increasing bilateral oil trade between the state-owned Petroecuador and Petroleum of Venezuela, PDVSA, companies. Since 2010, Venezuela has traded oil derivatives for Ecuador’s crude oil, allowing both countries to save millions of dollars on import costs.
Outgoing Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa touted the deal as an example of “the solidarity and brotherhood of the Bolivarian Revolution with the peoples of the world,” Venezuela Analysis reports.
“The energy axis is vital … it’s a matter of our independence,” deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said upon signing the deal.
Long, a member of Correa’s democratic socialist PAIS Alliance party, also commented on his country’s upcoming elections. The diplomat reaffirmed his confidence that his party’s presidential candidate, Lenin Moreno, can win the general election.
“The elections are going well,” Long said. “The Citizen Revolution is a historic project that enjoys the overwhelming majority of the population.”
Current polls place Moreno in first place in voting intention, with about 28 percent of Ecuadoreans saying they’ll vote for him.