CARACAS – Venezuela’s leftist incumbent Nicolas Maduro announced on Thursday an immediate investment in the Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei, which has been accused of espionage by the United States.
The investment seeks to help Venezuela in installing a 4G mobile network technology, which currently functions only sporadically and in the major cities of the oil rich country.
“I have ordered an immediate investment with our Chinese brothers, Chinese technology, that of Huawei, of ZTE, and of all the Chinese and Russian companies, so that we can enhance the capacity of the whole telecommunications system and make 4G a reality,” Maduro said at a military event.
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump imposed an executive order prohibiting US firms from doing business with foreign companies that allegedly try to spy on their country, leading to a ban on Huawei.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has revoked Huawei’s Android license, which means the Chinese telecom giant will lose access to updates to the Android operating system and will also no longer have access to Google’s proprietary services such as Google Maps.
On Monday, Maduro said that this measure was an “aggression” against Huawei, which is the second largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world and a pioneer in the development of 5G technology.
Several US, UK and Japanese operators have stopped offering Huawei mobiles to their customers, as did manufacturers of components for Huawei devices.
Maduro said that the Chinese firm would continue operating in Venezuela, where telecommunications and data system are outdated due to the ongoing crisis.
In a Spanish language video, Huawei urged its clients in Latin America to remain calm after the breakdown of its business relations with Google.
The firm said that the measure, a consequence of the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington, would not affect any existing equipment or those in inventory for sale.