* Venezuelan state carrier buying 20 planes
* Will help cooling Brazil-Venezuela ties
CARACAS, Dec 3 (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez confirmed on Saturday a deal with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer to supply 20 commercial planes for Venezuela’s state carrier to increase Caribbean routes.
Analysts have said the deal could revive ties between Venezuela and Brazil that have cooled since President Dilma Rousseff took over from Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was close to fellow socialist leaders around the region.
“We signed a deal with Brazil, just now with President Dilma (Rousseff),” Chavez said in comments to a summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders. “It’s good news because we want to increase our flights to the Caribbean.”
The Venezuelan leader did not say how much government-owned airliner Conviasa would pay for the planes, nor when they would be delivered. But he said the terms of the purchase were “very cheap” and the aircraft “very good.”
Brazil’s BNDES development bank is helping to finance the deal, Chavez said.
While Lula was a close friend of Chavez‘s, Rousseff has focused instead on strengthening ties with major trading partners China and the United States, paying less attention to Brazil’s immediate neighbors.