Immigration to Uruguay, Argentina and Chile has exploded exponentially in recent years. It is receiving an “unprecedented” daily requests for refuge in the southern country, according to the Director of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dianela Pi, who explained to MercoPress that “There are acts of discrimination and xenophobia that are emerging in Uruguay as never before” as a result of the migratory phenomenon. This wave comes mostly from citizens of Venezuelan origin.
The plenary of the leftist coalition Broad Front concluded on Sunday with a motion that postergates de decision over the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Chile, defining to leave the decision on whether or not to support the agreement, delaying the debate to a future plenary whose date is not yet defined. The decision was voted after counting an erroneous sum of the votes in the first instance in which the motion to debate the issue in the plenary had won. However, the votes of the Communist Party of Uruguay (PCU) had been put on the wrong side.
While Chilean President Sebastián Piñera started a commercial tour in Brazil last Thursday, in which he avoids Uruguay because the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Chile is blocked in the Uruguayan Parliament since 2016, ex-president José Mujica explained that he supports the FTA with Chile in order to look for “the best incentives to ensure commercial stability.” The bench of former president Mujica and the communist party refuse to approve the commercial agreement.
China and South Korea are seeking to establish free trade agreements with Mercosur in a strategic response to Washington's increasingly protectionist stance. The East Asian initiatives have resonated well in a region where Washington is keeping its distance. U.S. President Donald Trump has not visited a single Latin American country since taking office in January 2017, and chose not to attend the Summit of the Americas, which recently concluded in Peru.
Washington’s request that other countries also expel Russian diplomats is improper, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said. “I did not take this request well, I said it was improper and it should not have been made,” the top diplomat said as cited by the El Pais newspaper.