“It’s a major institutional blow, maybe the most serious in the 21 years of Mercosur” said Uruguayan Vice president Danilo Astori in direct reference to the group’s decision to incorporate Venezuela with the approval of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and the absence of Paraguay.
Argentina underlined late Monday that the decision on the incorporation of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur was “unanimously” supported by the presidents from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay during the group’s summit last Friday hosted by President Cristina Fernandez.
The Uruguayan government said that it accepted the incorporation of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur as part of a “negotiation” in which it demanded no economic sanctions on Paraguay and that is why “the last word has not been said” on the issue.
The leading member from Brazil’s main opposition political party described Uruguay’s claim that consensus was absent in the Mercosur decision to suspend Paraguay and to incorporate Venezuela as “extremely serious” and complained Mercosur has become a merely “ideological” grouping.
The new Paraguayan authorities have named a special committee of prosecutors to inquiry into the alleged meeting between Venezuelan Foreign Affairs minister Nicolas Maduro and Paraguayan military during the recent impeachment process.
The formal incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur next July will benefit mainly Brazil and Argentina since they could considerably increase their exports to the oil-rich country at the expense of the local production sector weakened by the economic policies from the administration of President Hugo Chavez, according to analysts.
The Uruguayan government revealed on Monday its disagreement with the way Venezuela’s incorporation to Mercosur was decided last Friday at the summit held in Mendoza, Argentina, and said “it was not the last word” since the process must be reviewed from a juridical point of view.
The Paraguayan government named a special committee of military, police and diplomatic officials to help avoid possible incidents of violence when the fact-finding delegation from the Organization of American States, arrives in Asuncion.
Paraguay’s government blasted Mercosur decision of incorporating Venezuela as a full member of the bloc before finishing the legislative procedure to do so and did not discard the possibility of having the Paraguayan people “decide whether to remain or not in Mercosur”.
Unasur, Union of South American nations on Friday suspended Paraguay from the group following the ouster of the country's former president, Fernando Lugo. The decision was adopted at an extraordinary meeting in Mendoza, Argentina where earlier in the day Mercosur members adopted a similar measure.