Argentine President Cristina Fernández said on Tuesday during a press conference held at the Mercosur extraordinary summit in Brasilia, that Venezuela’s entry to the bloc “strengthens the entire region” and creates a “new pole of power” at world level.
Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay made the incorporation act official at the special summit held in Brasilia with the attendance of the four leaders: Cristina Fernandez, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Uruguay’s Jose Mujica and the host Dilma Rousseff.
The event started Tuesday morning in the Planalto Palace when the four presidents met and later had the family picture taken. This was followed by a press conference and a special lunch at the Brazilian Itamaraty chancery in honour of the presidents.
“This is a historic day that fills me with joy”, said the Argentine president adding that the inclusion of Venezuela “calls for the creation of the institutions for this new pole of power”.
Venezuela incorporation to Mercosur was decided at the mid year presidential summit in Mendoza, Argentina at the end of June when the other full member Paraguay was suspended because of the removal of Fernando Lugo from the presidency.
Following the three presidents agreed the inclusion of Venezuela as full member of the block, which had been pending because of the refusal of the Paraguayan Senate to have Hugo Chavez in the trade block. Chavez’ original request dates from 2006.
Venezuela's swearing into the bloc makes it the first country to join the bloc since it was founded in 1991.
“I still remember the small minded sponsors who were against the inclusion of Venezuela”, and who argued that “it was not convenient to be part of Mercosur because Brazil would gobble us” given its size.
Cristina Fernandez then turned to Chavez and said that “your solitude was not personal or government solitude, it was political and cultural solitude from our region in South America” and immediately recalled that “Nestor Kirchner and Lula da Silva always dreamt of this happening”.
The Argentine president then criticized “developed countries” blaming them for the current global “financial insecurity”.
“I’ve read that the idea of capping the price of our commodities has resurfaced as if we were endangering global food security. Let us tell them to be at ease that we can provide food security because the world is in this condition not because of the soybeans, or because of wheat or corn, but rather because of the financial insecurity which those same developed countries generated”, said Cristina Fernandez.
She added that “we are going to produce more and better food, but what we are demanding is financial security, an end to fiscal havens, and end to double speech”.
With Venezuela Mercosur “closes the equation” in the regional block “because it is energy, food, minerals, knowledge, aggregate value, industrialization, know-how that we are now going to share”.
President Chavez said that with the incorporation of Venezuela “the new period of the accelerated history we are building has been opened”, which will mean “historic changes” for the region.
“We are where we should have always been, Venezuela’s inclusion in Mercosur was long overdue, but everything that is to happen has its moment”, said Chavez.
“We have come to Mercosur with all our wishes for a full integration” and to make this block “a mechanism of integration which goes beyond trade, which means social integration”, he added.
Finally Chavez said that Mercosur must be seen as “the largest locomotive to preserve our independence and to guarantee our integral development”.
“As of today Venezuela belongs to one of the most powerful blocks in the world which concentrates 300 million people and a GDP of over 3tn dollars,” rich in resources, energy and know-how.