Former president Jorge Batlle (2000/2005) said that the inclusion of Venezuela in Mercosur “is favourable for Uruguay” but at the same time insisted it was “wrongly done” for not having taken into account Paraguay’s opposition currently suspended as member of the regional block.
Under the heading of “In by the back door” referred to the expansion of Mercosur, The Economist says “bringing Venezuela certainly was smart, in the sense of cunning rather than wise”, but it was done ignoring the block’s rules which call for unanimity in admitting new members.
An international controversy has surfaced between President Hugo Chavez and Paraguayan senators as to who really tried to bribe whom regarding failed attempts to have Venezuela incorporated to Mercosur.
President Hugo Chavez said that the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur was “exemplary” because it never yielded to “blackmail” from the Paraguayan extreme right and revealed that he met with Paraguayan Senator Lino Oviedo, considered the mastermind behind those attempts.
Paraguay urged the Organization of American States, OAS, on Wednesday to say whether it will be taking measures or not against the country following the removal of Fernando Lugo from the presidency, a political incident that has reverberated in the whole continent.
The Paraguayan government declared “illegal” and “null and void” the inclusion of Venezuela as a full member of Mercosur which was agreed on Tuesday during the extraordinary meeting held in Brasilia with the absence of Paraguay.
Brazilian president DIlma Rousseff said that with the incorporation of Venezuela, Mercosur has become a global power in food and energy and becomes the fifth world economy with a GDP of 3.3tn dollars.
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.
Following a full day of deliberations in Brasilia between Foreign Affairs ministers, the presidents from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, on Tuesday will formally receive Venezuela as the new full member of Mercosur, as was agreed at the regular mid year summit in Mendoza.
Uruguayan president Jose Mujica strongly defended the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur and forecasted that in a short time the country will become Uruguay’s third trade associate, behind China and Brazil.