Venezuela gave another step in its integration process as full member of Mercosur underlining recent achievements with its partners Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay but completely ignored Paraguay, the fourth full member currently suspended from the block.
In an official report Venezuela Communications and Information minister Ernesto Villegas said that last 26 December, in the framework of the Latin American Integration Association, ALADI Venezuela subscribed the agreements of “partial economic complementation with its associates Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay”.
“This is an event of great significance since these instruments contain the trade liberation programs and their evolution with its partners Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
They will regulate Venezuela’s trade with its Mercosur partners under the principles of gradualism, flexibility and equilibrium, acknowledgement of asymmetries and preferential treatment, as well as the principles of food security, subsistence means and rural development”, says the report with no mention of the fourth full member Paraguay, which remains suspended from the block until at least August 2013.
Likewise beginning January first, all kinds of products will be open to export to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay with no export tariffs thus promoting “the great beginning of the Mercosur export era” points out the report. Apparently Mercosur is extending Venezuela 100% trade liberation.
Villegas added that Venezuela agreed a mechanism to strengthen production which includes: technology transfer, joint investments, industrial complementation, reliable suppliers and at a lower cost, financial opportunities and space for further negotiations.
Mercosur suspended Paraguay from the block last June following the political impeachment of Fernando Lugo who was removed from office and replaced by President Federico Franco. Simultaneously Mercosur taking advantage of the absence of Paraguay approved the incorporation of Venezuela as a full member, a move that had been blocked so far (five years) by the Paraguayan Senate.
The resolution supported by the three other Mercosur full members indicates that President Franco will not be recognized as head of state before the regional block.
According to the Mercosur founding charter incorporation rules must be unanimous but at the time Uruguayan president Jose Mujica said that on occasions “the political is more important than the juridical”.