Gov't takes action to clear Venezuelan ports
Authorities avowed stumbling blocs stemming from growing imports
Vice-Minister and Vice-President of Bolivariana de Puertos, Pedro Castro, informed after a meeting with the members of Asonavieras; the National Customs Intendent, Elpidio Pérez Chirinos, and the Vice-President of the Foreign Exchange Management Committee (Cadivi),
Víctor Flores, that beginning on Thursday, state-owned banks of Venezuela, Treasury and Bicentenario will work until 6:00 pm, Mondays through Fridays, and until 3:00 pm on Saturdays. All of these agencies will be open to receive the payments for the appropriate tariffs or taxes and accelerate in this way the nationalization process.
Furthermore, an agreement was reached with the Ministry of the Interior and Justice to grant until December 29 the circulation on Sundays of empty containers, "taking into account that shipments will be extended to Saturdays and containers can return to the port of origin on Sunday," Castro elaborated.
Castro conceded that presently 10 vessels are waiting their turn to enter the port of La Guaira, and additional 18 in Puerto Cabello.
"Increasing imports in the advent of the Christmas season and physical decrease by 35% of the storage capacity in the port of La Guaira, measured at 4,000 containers, have brought about troubles in load management. Therefore, we are implementing these measures."
Translated by Conchita Delgado
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.