Mercosur ratifies before review tribunal decision to suspend Paraguay
Mercosur full members Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are insisting with their decision to sanction the Paraguayan government following the impeachment and removal of former president Fernando Lugo
The three countries ratified on Wednesday before the Mercosur Review Standing Tribunal the suspension of Paraguay as member of the regional block until after April 2013 presidential elections.
Paraguayan Foreign minister Jose Felix Fernandez said the decision was confirmed by the other three Mercosur full members following President Federico Franco administration decision to appeal the 29 June resolution which left Paraguay out and simultaneously annexed Venezuela as full member of the group.
Venezuela’s request to join the group dating back to 2006 was still pending because the Paraguayan Senate blocked the incorporation despite all other three full member lawmakers’ approval.
The five-member Mercosur standing tribunal is made up of a member from Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and two from Brazil and has six running days to rule on the Mercosur decision to suspend Paraguay, and subsequently on Venezuela’s incorporation.
Speaking from Bolivia Argentine president Cristina Fernandez said that the region “will fight tooth and nail” in support of peoples’ sovereign decisions when voting in direct reference to the Paraguayan situation.
“Let there be no confusion, we are all united and we are all going to fight tooth and nail, not for governments, or persons, but for the will of the people freely expressed in open, democratic, transparent elections” underlined Cristina Fernandez.
The Argentine leader also defended the unity of Mercosur, Unasur, Celac because “this has enabled the region to overcome difficult moments” in several countries.
Meanwhile the European Parliament mission that spent several days in Paraguay on a fact finding task called on Paraguay “to try and normalize relations with its neighbours” in direct reference to the suspension applied on President Franco’s administration both by Mercosur and Unasur.
The delegation which confirmed the freezing of EU/Mercosur trade talks until after the April 2013 presidential election said the presence of Paraguay in the talks was fundamental and asked the new administration in Asuncion to tone down references to Brazil and Argentina since “you are forced to live next to them”.