Uruguayan president Jose Mujica has plans to meet two, probably three times before the end of the year with his peer from Venezuela, Hugo Chavez to address “a real integration” of Mercosur, not limited to trade, but at the same time admitting that Venezuela is rapidly becoming one of the main markets for Uruguayan exports.
President Hugo Chavez said on Thursday that he will be attending the coming Mercosur presidential summit next 7 December in Brasilia and assured Venezuela is speeding up so the country can display all its potential within the political and trade block.
Brazilian foreign minister Antonio Patriota is scheduled to meet on Thursday with his Venezuela peer Nicolas Maduro to discuss a bilateral and regional agenda which is expected to emphasize on current issues related to Mercosur, the coming December summit and Paraguay’s situation.
The European Union issued on Wednesday its revised import preference scheme - known as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) - for developing countries most in need which will take effect from 1 January 2014, revealing that all Mercosur full members, except for Paraguay, will no longer benefit.
The Organization of American States, OAS special envoy said on Thursday that Mercosur and Unasur ‘need’ Paraguay and the suspension of the country from the two organizations can be tracked to other interests unrelated to those events.
Brazil said it is hard to see Paraguay rejoining Mercosur and Unasur before next year’s presidential election. The two blocks suspended the landlocked country following the removal of Fernando Lugo last June and replacing him with President Federico Franco.
Uruguay’s tenure of Mercosur rotating chair will be advanced six months meaning that at the coming summit in December Brazil will hand over the next six-month responsibility to the administration of President Jose Mujica, thus skipping Paraguay which remains suspended from the South American trade group.
Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva said he believes it is time for Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, recently re-elected for another six years, “to begin preparing his succession”
Venezuela’s expulsion of Paraguayan diplomats from Caracas, as a direct consequence of the ongoing conflict inside Mercosur has left Brazil with the challenge of recomposing relations inside the group ahead of Mercosur next summit in December which will be hosted by the administration of President Dilma Rousseff.
Venezuela's government decided to expel Paraguay's remaining diplomats from the country, the top envoy at the Paraguayan Embassy said on Wednesday. Charge d'affaires Victor Casartelli said that he and three other Paraguayan diplomats in Caracas were told by Venezuela's Foreign Ministry to leave within three days.