Eight Paraguayan soldiers died on Saturday in a rural roadside explosion, followed by execution of survivors, 500 kilometers north of the capital Asunción, the government said, blaming it on a criminal group which identifies itself as the EPP, acronym for Paraguayan People's Army.
The foreign ministers of Mercosur founding members will adopt a common position regarding the current disarray of the group following on Venezuela's unilateral attitudes said Paraguayan economic affairs and integration deputy minister Rigoberto Gauto.
The Brazilian government said it was deeply disappointed and surprised at statements from Uruguay's foreign minister, which are not compatible with the excelence of relations between Brazil and Uruguay, according to an official release from Itamaraty, Brazil's foreign ministry, regarding the controversy over the Mercosur presidency.
Uruguay's Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said on Monday that he was opposed to the proposal that the Mercosur presidency should be held collectively, as a number of countries are opposed to Venezuela taking over the role. The proposal has been sponsored by Paraguay and Brazil for several weeks, particularly Brazil's Foreign Minister Jose Serra.
The coordinators of Mercosur founding members will decide next 23 August at a meeting in Montevideo on the legal measures to be applied on Venezuela, which self proclaimed itself the presidency of the group and is also questioned for not complying with the rules and regulations to be incorporated to the group. In that case Venezuela could lose its full member status.
Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay are waiting to see what happens on Friday, 12 August, when Venezuela has to prove that it has complied with all the pending requirements to confirm its Mercosur full membership condition dating back to 2012.
Venezuela is not helping much to resolve the unprecedented situation of Mercosur, said Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa in reference to Venezuela's self proclaimed presidency of the group and which is rejected point blank by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay who consider the post vacant.
Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina are waiting for a report on Venezuela´s compliance with the accords agreed in 2012, which has to delivered next Friday 12 August, and could lead the group of three counties deciding the suspension of Caracas as full member of Mercosur. A week and a half later, 23 August, representatives of these countries will be meeting to address the issue.
Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil are considering the “demotion” of Venezuela's Mercosur full membership unless by next August 12 it complies with all conditions to hold such a position, according to the Brazilian media following a meeting of the three presidents in the sidelines of the opening of the Rio Olympic Games.
Venezuela announced it will not allow Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, “the triple alliance” to storm the Mercosur pro tempore presidency, which the government of president Nicolas Maduro is fully exercising. Caracas also claimed that economic forces operating in the dark are interested in a Mercosur “implosion”.