Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in an exclusive interview with Brazil’s Opera Mundi that the first shipment of oxygen to Amazonas has already been authorized and will be dispatched to Brazil on Friday, January 15.
The cargo will leave the city of Puerto Ordaz, Bolívar state, and will travel 994 miles, for approximately two days, to the capital of Amazonas. This first batch will be transported by land in two trucks and should reach Manaus by Sunday.
The formalities of the cooperation agreement were negotiated between the governors of Amazonas, Wilson Lima (PSC-AM), and the governor of the Venezuelan state of Bolívar, Justo Nogueira.
According to Arreaza, the logistics of this first shipment will be provided by the Venezuelan government. Then, the Amazonian government should take on the task by sending more trucks from Brazil to fetch oxygen from Venezuela.
The Venezuelan government will also offer a military escort for the cargo, which will be accompanied to the bordering city of Santa Helena de Uairén first, and later by Brazilian military personnel.
Foreign Minister Arreaza also informed that the government of Nicolás Maduro “will supply oxygen while the emergency situation of the Amazonas state persists.” This, according to him, makes it hard to calculate the quantity of oxygen supplied, or the duration of the agreement.
Oxygen production in the city of Puerto Ordaz is part of a national plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela. Operation in this industrial plant was resumed last year for this purpose. “The oxygen we produce at this plant is sufficient to supply this region of Venezuela and contribute to alleviating Brazil’s emergency,” said Arreaza.