With Venezuela, Mercosur will extend from Patagonia to the Caribbean
Brazilian Foreign minister Antonio Patriota again supported the access of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur and the suspension of Paraguay, which he described as a clear message for all those possible “anti-democratic adventures”.
Patriota was summoned by the Senate Foreign Affairs committee and argued strongly against those lawmakers who criticized the suspension of Paraguay from Mercosur and the embracing of full membership for Venezuela in the block.
The minister said both decisions were adopted following an agreement reached by the presidents of the three countries (Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil) during the recent Mercosur summit in Mendoza, Argentina, where it was confirmed that “Paraguay will only return to participate in the block when it returns to full democratic order”.
Regarding Venezuela whose incorporation was pending of approval from the Paraguayan congress and was accepted following the removal of President Fernando Lugo, Patriota insisted that the decision has an economic and political strategic interest for the whole of Mercosur.
“With Venezuela, Mercosur will extend from Patagonia to the Caribbean” said the minister who underlined Venezuela’s leading role in energy and “in strengthening the networks of trade and investments” which are anticipated with its incorporation.
Patriota said that both the suspension of Paraguay and access of Venezuela “were difficult decisions but were taken with criteria, with utmost care not to harm or affect the Paraguayan people” and as a reply “to a clearly unacceptable situation”.
The incorporation of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur will be formalized during an extraordinary meeting next July 31 in Rio do Janeiro to which is scheduled the attendance of Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez; Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff; Uruguay’s Jose Mujica and Venezuela’ Hugo Chavez.
Chavez who is recovering from a long convalescence of cancer and is in the midst of a presidential election campaign for next October said he could not be absent from such a historic event.
“Of course I need to be there. I’m going. It’s very important for us and for the whole of Latin America” said the Venezuelan leader. It will be his first trip overseas in over a year since he was diagnosed and suspended most activities to undergo treatment. He only travelled regularly to Cuba for the treatment.