As part of this effort of closer cooperation, Iran sent engineers to assist Venezuela in constructing a huge cement manufacturing facility in the southern Venezuelan City of Maturin, located some 500 kilometers to the east of Caracas. The government of Venezuela, headed by Hugo Chavez’ successor Nicolas Maduro, reportedly expended the equivalent of $400 million dollars to build the facility, a significant expenditure in a nation with a struggling economy. Experts believe the new plant will produce 1,000,000 tons of concrete per annum. An Iranian government official, Mahdi Karbasian, of the Industry, Mine and Trade Ministry journeyed from Iran to attend the opening ceremonies in conjunction with Venezuelan Minister Fernando Martinez.
Just last month, President Maduro visited three Middle Eastern nations: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran, another sign of warm relations between Venezuela and Iran. He described his visit to Teheran as an effort to “advance established agreements.”