In a televised interview on Venezuela’s TeleSUR, which was aired on July 8, the country’s President Nicolas Maduro said he had told Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez to prepare the necessary paperwork so that Venezuela can join the BRICS.
The BRICS bloc, composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have recently set up The New Development Bank (NDB), previously known as the BRICS Development Bank, with a starting capital of $50 billion, with the aim of gradually increasing capital to $100 billion.
The NDB aims to provide an alternative to the existing World Bank and International Monetary Fund and to encourage greater cooperation among the five emerging markets that make up the BRICS.
Maduro said that the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA), a leftist bloc of Caribbean countries, should join the NDB which is expected to be fully functional by the end of 2015.
Maduro conceded that The Bank of the South, a development bank with similar aims to the NDB, did not move forward “because of bureaucracy, the lack of political will of the governments.”
“It’s regrettable, but it has to be said,” he noted. “Eight years after signing into reality the Bank of the South [among Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela], it is frozen and overwhelmed by bureaucracy.”
Maduro called the NDB “a big brother” to the Bank of the South and commented that “seeing this experience of the BRICS [in creating mechanisms for their own development], we should be more motivated.”
Maduro told teleSUR that he “told the foreign minister [Delcy Rodriguez] that she should do all the necessary paperwork so that we can join BRICS. As soon as it’s possible, we’re going to propose to the ALBA to join through to the BRICS Bank alliance. Build a new [world] order, a world financial structure.”
Responding to a question asking whether an alternative financial entity such as the NDB would have enough muscle to end the dominance of the US in international financial institutions, Maduro replied he was an optimist, while admitting that “substituting the old financial scheme will be costly, as it was for Greece and Europe."
Maduro also said Venezuela and the United States were working to re-establish relations and that he expects that things will get to a point where the US government “takes the historic step of recognising Venezuela and its revolution - what it has done with Cuba - recognising the reality in Cuba.”
Maduro expressed confidence in the wake of his meetings with Thomas Shannon, Counselor to US Secretary of State John Kerry and former US ambassador to Brazil, that the United States will consider lifting the sanctions against Venezuela that it imposed in March 2015.
“On two occasions I have met here [in the Presidential Palace] with Thomas Shannon, and I think the open diplomatic channel will be successful after we shake hands in Panama,” Maduro said.
Maduro stressed that Venezuela will not bend on its core values, saying that the United States “can’t ask us to stop being Bolivarian, Chavista, and socialists who are proud of our history.”