CARACAS, Thursday August 20, 2009 | Update
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sent a letter to his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chávez asking him to speed up the payment to Brazilian companies engaged in exports to Venezuela, in view of the accounts payable for up to eight months, reported on Thursday the Brazilian press.
The letter drafted by Lula would be delivered on Thursday by Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Trade Miguel Jorge, presently on official visit to Caracas together with a group of businesspeople, stated economic newspaper Valor.
In the letter, the Brazilian Head of State urged the Venezuelan government to settle the accounts and noted the "essential" support of the Foreign Exchange Management Committee (Cadivi) for Brazilian companies to continue exporting to Venezuela, Valor explained.
Troubles began some years ago. In 2007-2008, accrued late payments amounted to USD 4 million. The accounts were settled just after the negotiations with President Chávez's administration, Efe quoted.
Main items imported by Venezuela include cattle, frozen chicken, car parts and mobile phones.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.