Belarus and Venezuela to establish direct air connection

“Lukashenka’s purse” Viktar Sheyman has met with Nicolas Maduro, whom half the world does not recognize as president of Venezuela.

Nicolas Maduro at a meeting of the Belarus-Venezuela commission. Caracas, Venezuela. December 17, 2021. Photo: NicolasMaduro / Twitter.

The governments of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Nicolas Maduro held a meeting of the high-level Mixed commission on December 15. While the Belarusian state media ignored the event, the “Venezolana de Televisión” channel covered it.

Maduro asked Sheyman to convey to Lukashenka “a firm determination to move forward, to restore the projects we have been implementing and to launch new ones.”

Sheyman said that during the three days of the talks, the delegates made progress in agriculture, agreed to launch a factory for the production of tractors and trucks, and reached an understanding on how to work in the transportation and oil extraction sectors.

The Russian TASS notes that in a televised speech Maduro also said that Belarus and Venezuela have signed an agreement to launch direct air connection between the countries, “and Venezuela will be connected to the world through Belarus.” Details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but Maduro said that this air service “contributes to an increase in the flow of tourists to Venezuela.”

Nicolas Maduro at the meeting of the Belarus-Venezuela commission. The Belarusian side was represented by Viktar Sheyman. Caracas, Venezuela. December 17, 2021. Photo: NicolasMaduro / Twitter

Viktar Sheyman has been an active associate of Lukashenka since 1994. He was state secretary of the Security Council of Belarus, Lukashenka’s assistant on national security and special assignments, Prosecutor General, head of Lukashenka’s administration, Lukashenka’s business manager. He resigned from the latter position in the summer of 2021, and then began reporting to Lukashenka on trips to Latin America. According to ByPol, Sheyman is “the second man in the state” and the head of the regime’s private military company.