Brazil’s conservative but influential daily O Estado de Sao Paulo dedicated the main Tuesday editorial to the Mercosur suspension of Paraguay and the entrance of Venezuela arguing that what happened at the group’s summit in Mendoza was “a coup against” the block.
The editorial under the heading of “Coup against Mercosur” describes Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff decision to suspend Paraguay and incorporate Venezuela as “disastrous and shameful” and said the whole manoeuvring was “scandalous”.
Rousseff followed the orientations of her peer from Argentina Cristina Fernandez whose “democratic credentials are more than doubtful” says the editorial and regrets that the destiny of the regional group has been submitted to the political objectives of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, now that Paraguay’s parliament which was the only one blocking the incorporation, has been suspended from Mercosur.
“Besides representing a serious threat to Mercosur, already weakened by internal divisions because of protectionist practices and the lack of competitive integration capacity at global level, the decision favouring the access of Venezuela is very questionable legally” argues the newspaper since “Paraguay even suspended is still a member of Mercosur”.
And the big question is: following the 2013 presidential elections “the opposition from Paraguayan lawmakers to Venezuela’s incorporation will have lost effect?” asks O Estado de Sao Paulo.
Further more the newspaper affirms there is no possible way to doubt the legal basis of Fernando Lugo’s impeachment, but yes there are sound foundations to criticize the punishment inflicted on Paraguay. “Who in this story really merits to be called a coup sponsor?” asks the editorial. So far the diplomats and presidents involved in condemning Paraguay have been unable of sustaining their decision in a clear political foundation. There is a considerable difference in pointing out the expediency of the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo and proving the violation of a constitutional rule”.
The editorial asks a further question: following the suspension, “will the Paraguayans have an interest in remaining in Mercosur? The newspaper then refers to Argentine protectionism and the ban on Mercosur members of negotiating unitlaterally with third nations or blocks as one of the main obstacles for lucrative businesses with sides such as the US or the European Union.
“Maybe the Paraguayans will discover in their absurd isolation a further inspiration to free themselves from this failed customs union and search for relevant trade business for their country outside Mercosur”.