Uruguay Foreign Affairs minister Luis Almagro said that the political situation in Venezuela makes it quite improbable that the three-times postponed and since delayed Mercosur summit can effectively take place in Caracas sometime in the next two months.
Paraguay has an economy which is complementary to the Pacific Alliance block and has become a very interesting option to increase trade, argued the country's main business organizations, Paraguay's Industrial Union and the Paraguay Rural Association.
Paraguay's foreign minister Eladio Loizaga said that there is no date for the several times suspended Mercosur summit, but a technical meeting is scheduled for next week in Montevideo when the issue, among others will be addressed. Nevertheless he insisted that the different bodies of Mercosur are working normally.
A top Paraguayan official will be travelling to Colombia to establish 'closer links' with the Pacific Alliance and advance with the country's full membership request. Paraguay currently with observer status is also waiting for the official invitation to participate in the Pacific Alliance summit scheduled for 22 June in Mexico.
Argentina's Hector Timerman and Paraguay's Eladio Loizaga will be meeting Monday in Asunción to address among other issues the three times delayed Mercosur summit, which should take place in Venezuela, and must be decided before next June when the group's six-month chair again rotates.
Public life in Paraguay was largely paralyzed on Wednesday by a nationwide strike in demand of higher salaries and against the privatization plans of President Horacio Cartes. Peasants also joined the stoppage and marched on the capital Asunción protesting against the soy-agri-business which is leaving them landless.
United States Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said Washington is considering increasing cooperation with Paraguay in combating trans-national crime, particularly Brazilian organizations involved in durgs and arms trafficking.
More than 20 countries confirmed that representatives from their governments will attend the inauguration of Chilean president-elect Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday, Chilean Senate leader Jorge Pizarro announced. Leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, Suriname and El Salvador have confirmed their presence.
The Mercosur summit is still scheduled for March but given the current situation in Venezuela, host of the event, there could be another delay admitted Paraguay's Foreign minister Eladio Loizaga, who added that there are permanent contacts between members countries to try and avoid another scenario.
In early March Mercosur will have readied its proposal to liberate trade to be presented to the European Union, the basis for a wide-ranging cooperation and trade agreement between the two blocks, announced Rubens Barbosa, head of the Trade Council from the Sao Paulo State Industries Federation, FIESP.