Vice-president Danilo Astori admitted on Friday that economic-trade relations with Argentina continue to deteriorate and seriously question Mercosur and Uruguay must therefore speed the search for other alternatives.
In a surprise move Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro talked on Tuesday to Paraguay’s president-elect Horacio Cartes to congratulate him on Sunday’s election and express interest in retaking the “rhythm of bilateral relations”, which were interrupted when the removal of Fernando Lugo.
By R. Viswanathan (*) - Horacio Cartes of the Colorado party won the presidential elections held last Sunday in Paraguay. The Colorados had ruled the country continuously for 61 years in a one-party dictatorship until 2008 when Fernando Lugo, the leftist “Bishop of the Poor” defeated the Colorado candidate and made history.
President-elect Horacio Cartes said that even when some aspects of Mercosur can be improved it “would be utterly nonsense” to abandon the block since it generates many jobs in the country, attracts investment and is an opportunity to open markets.
Brazil conditions the immediate return of Paraguay to Mercosur to the approval, by the new congress, of Venezuela’s full incorporation to the trade block, according to the influential Folha de Sao Paulo quoting foreign ministry reliable sources.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez congratulated Paraguayan president-elect Horacio Cartes for his ample victory in Sunday’s election and said Mercosur was waiting for the return of the country to the trade block.
When the last tanks rumbled past and the massive civil-military parade with display of state of the art missile launchers had come to an end in early Friday night of Caracas, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro could sigh in relief because his last twenty four hours had been really hectic.
“We’re optimistic about Sunday’s election and the future of Paraguay if we can agree on long term state policies, but something is for certain: democracy in Paraguay is here to stay” said Ricardo Caballero Aquino, Chargé d’affaires of the Paraguayan embassy in Montevideo who was also positive about future relations with Unasur and Mercosur.
Paraguay will be electing a new president on Sunday and its re-incorporation to the Union of South American Nations, Unasur could happen under the new government anticipated Salomon Lerner, chief observer of the regional group.
Representatives from several Latinamerican and Caribbean countries before the Organization of American States recognized on Wednesday Nicolas Maduro as elected president of Venezuela. Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Uruguay among others congratulated the new head of state and praised the Venezuelan people for their massive and peaceful turnout last Sunday for the historic voting day.