President Evo Morales has highlighted the total Bolivian independence from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), which have carried out “devastating economic policies for many years” in this South American nation.
Mercosur inked a trade deal with Colombia last Friday to allow limited quantities of tariff-free trade in products including automobiles, textiles and agrochemicals, Argentina's and Colombia's governments said.
The members of Mercosur trade bloc called for an end to violence in Venezuela in a joint statement on Friday. However again opinions were divided: while Brazil and Argentina sponsored a more explicit warning to President Nicolas Maduro and his regime, Uruguay had it redrafted in a more conciliatory tone and Paraguay finally came out with a compromise option.
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have announced they do not support Venezuela as the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur, further deepening controversy in the group which could even hinder ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union and closer links with the Pacific Alliance.
Paraguay is committed to return Mercosur to 'its roots', reach an agreement on some of the original fundamentals, eliminate restrictions to inter-trade and strongly promote the trade accord with the European Union. This is scheduled to take place in the coming six months once Paraguay is handed Mercosur' chair at the group's midyear presidential summit that begins on Thursday in Brasilia.
Mercosur summit delays and oil are two of the main issues the Paraguayan foreign minister Eladio Loizaga will address with his Venezuelan peer Elias Jaua, when he travels on Thursday to Caracas. Formally the event is a diplomatic reciprocity for Jaua's visit to Paraguay last 9 October, when the two countries re-established full relations.
Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes will not be participating in the Mercosur summit scheduled to be held next month in Caracas, capital of Venezuela, which currently holds the rotating chair of the bloc, according to Paraguay foreign minister Eladio Loizaga.
Paraguay has named veteran diplomat Enrique Jara as new ambassador in Venezuela, giving a further step towards the full normalization of relations that had been interrupted since July 2012 when the two countries expelled their respective accredited staff.
President Horacio Cartes although admitting he is heart and mind committed to Mercosur, Paraguay's full return to Mercosur is in the hands of diplomacy since as head of state he must abide strictly by the rule of the law.
Brazil trusts Paraguay will fully return to Mercosur before the end of the year, said Brazil's Executive foreign policy advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia in a Sunday edition interview with the influential Folha de Sao Paulo.