“There are better conditions, things are quieter now” to consider the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur as full member said Paraguayan cabinet chief Miguel Lopez Perito, following a political agreement in Congress with one of the main opposition parties.
The incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur faces a tough battle in the Paraguayan congress following statements’ from the Upper House president who said that “it recalls us the time of the (Alfredo Stroessner) dictatorship” adding it was difficult to dissociate the country from the figure of Hugo Chavez.
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo admitted he called on Congress to reach a consensus to vote the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur, since Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have already done so and ‘only Paraguay is missing’.
For Brazil the renegotiation of the Itaipú dam treaty between Brazil and Paraguay ‘is over’ following on last year’s declaration of Presidents Lula da Silva and Fernando Lugo, said Marco Aurelio García the Brazilian president main advisor in international affairs.
The Paraguayan government will not send do Congress the protocol for the incorporation to Venezuela to Mercosur because conditions for its approval are non existent yet, said the country’s Foreign Affairs minister Héctor Lacognata.
Top level discussions will be held between members of the Paraguayan Executive and Congress to try and convince lawmakers to vote Venezuela’s incorporation to Mercosur and Paraguayan membership of Unasur (Union of South American Nations) that have been stalled for months.
A “twitter” opinion poll organized by Paraguay’s main daily newspaper ABC Color to evaluate which Latinamerican presidents are most rejected or less convincing delivered several predictable results but also some surprises.
One of Brazil’s most influential weekly magazines with strong penetration in political and business circles, ‘Veja’ has a main article this week calling neighbouring Paraguay the “rich beggar”, a role which the successive Paraguayan governments “have played to success attracting significant international aid and grants”.
The World Organization for Animal Health, OIE, will examine the South American request to consider free of foot and mouth disease with vaccination the border areas of Paraguay with Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia.
Brazilian business groups are strongly lobbying members of Congress against a review of a recent agreement reached by President Lula da Silva to treble the money paid to Paraguay for power from the world’s largest operating hydroelectric complex Itaipú, shared by both countries.