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Latin America market round up: Chavez watch

In October Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez, signed a number of new economic cooperation agreements in Havana with Raul Castro, the island’s temporary leader, in a move to reaffirm the countries’ anti-US alliance and strengthen their bilateral ties.

On October 15 the pair agreed on a series of trade-related deals in areas ranging from oil production to tourism. They also discussed plans to develop a billion-dollar petrochemical complex in Cuba.

The new trade deal is part of Chávez’s push for a new Bolivarian trading zone, also comprising Bolivia and Nicaragua, and intended as an alternative to US free trade pacts. Chávez said Venezuela and Cuba "can form a confederation of republics, two republics in one, two countries in one."

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