Bolivian President Hugo Banzer has been promised continued support for his plan to regain access to the Pacific Ocean for his landlocked country.
GV President Hugo Banzer of Bolivia (in white jacket and dark trousers, front now centre) with President Carlos Andres Perez of Venezuela (in shut) walk up gangway of ship.
CU Television cameraman.
SV President Banzer (on left) and Perez signing agreement on deck of ship.
SV Ministers watching
SVs Banzer seated as Perez makes announcement. (4 shots)
GVs Ship Ciudad de Barquisimeto at quayside. (3 shots)
Initials VS 17.00
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Bolivian President Hugo Banzer has been promised continued support for his plan to regain access to the Pacific Ocean for his landlocked country. The support came from President Carlos Andres Perez of Venezuela on Friday (29 July) while President Banzer was on a visit to Venezuela.
Bolivia has had talks with Chile over possible sea access, while Chile in turn has discussed the problem with Peru. But the three countries have not yet met together about the problem, and under terms of a 1929 peace treaty, Peru must approve the secession of any land formerly in its territory.
SYNOPSIS: Presidents Banzer and Perez were in the port of Puerto Cabello for the official handing over of a new merchant ship to Bolivia from Venezuela. Bolivia once had access to the Pacific Ocean, but lost its maritime province to Chile after a war in 1879-83. President Banzer has made the re-opening of sea access the central plank in his foreign policy platform.
The Venezuelan leader has been one of the strongest allies of the Bolivians in their fight for a port, and President Perez said his country would assign Bolivia a zone for loading and unloading merchandise fundamental to Bolivia. Bolivia urgently needs port facilities for its vast mineral ore traffic and its imports. The ship, the Ciudad de Barquisimeto, which was handed over on Friday, will be the first in a new Bolivian fleet.