According to Venezuela's Environment Ministry office of international cooperation director, Claudia Salerno, Venezuela's position regarding climate change remains the same.
Venezuela has aligned with all G-77 countries and China in demanding respect for the Kyoto Protocol as the central axis in confronting climate change.
Speaking from the Copenhagen Conference where she is representing Venezuela, Salerno has ratified the political will of countries belonging to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) in defending forests and the rights of indigenous peoples.
Salerno insists that industrialized countries have an historic debt to honor the ecological damage they caused in the past and need to replant their development and consumption models. She defends China, stating that it consumes less than half the gasoline that the USA consumes, even though its population is one fifth of the world population and she condemns the attitude of developed countries in refusing to commit to a reduction in contaminating gas emissions on grounds that it will hurt their economy.
In the many fringe meetings taking place at the conference, Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond made an offer that no doubt will interest Venezuela where whisky is a popular beverage ... especially at Christmas. Salmond has pledged a bottle of 42% proof whisky distilled in 2002 to world leaders who pledged to what he calls "ambitious reduction targets." Those who do not commit will receive watered-down whisky.
Salmond is head of the governing Scottish Nationalist party (SNP) and some members of the party have links with Venezuela through the disadvantaged youth orchestra program in Raploch, aided by its Venezuelan counterpart.
Although President Chavez doesn't drink, the bottle of whisky could go to Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro or perhaps a deserving member of the environment ministry negotiating team.
Patrick J. O'Donoghue