Uruguay will be handed the rotating chair of Mercosur this Monday in a brief summit ceremony to take place in Paraguay. Attending will be Brazil's Michel Temer, Uruguay's Tabare Vázquez, the host Paraguay Horacio Cartes and in representation of Argentina, vice president Gabriela Michetti. President Mauricio Macri is in the midst of a cabinet reshuffle and waiting for market reaction this Monday following the naming of a new Central Bank chairman.
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.
It has been a long standing consensus-secret in the Uruguayan political system that when you are elected or have been nominated to a political post, you must not forget the family or friends particularly if they are in distress. This means in practical terms that the generous Uruguayan state will incorporate you to the burgeoning bureaucracy be it at national or regional level.
Uruguayan farmers are angry, and so is president Tabare Vazquez who was involved in a high tone incident, far removed from what is his normal style of an oncologist having to communicate bad news. On Monday afternoon Vazquez unexpectedly attended the first round of talks between disenchanted farmers’ lobbies with government officials to discuss a raft of measures to overcome some of the long standing complaints.
Un-convened and unconvinced Uruguayan farmers again took to the roads of the country for a peaceful protest vigil in an estimated 300 posts, and which counted with spontaneous support from small business people linked to the rural sector.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing is willing to negotiate step by step, a free trade agreements with Uruguay and other countries in South America, particularly members of Mercosur.
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi arrived in Uruguay on Tuesday night for a three-day official visit which includes meetings with his peer Rodolfo Nin Novoa, president Tabare Vazquez and holding a round of talks to promote trade and discuss the possibility of a bilateral agreement.
Anywhere between 8.000 and 50.000 people are expected to convene on Tuesday to Durazno, central Uruguay, to protest and demand solutions to what is seen as an over bloated government, fiscal strangling, incompetent management of government companies and an overall dissatisfaction with the results of these policies and deaf political ears to the ongoing complaints.
Uruguayan farmers with their tractors, harvesters, trucks, vans and on horseback took to the roads to protest the cost of fuel, power, increased taxes and an over bloated national budget and bureaucracy which they blame for making several farm activities unprofitable, and have had an overall negative impact for the different camp activities.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will visit Peru and Uruguay this week to discuss progress and challenges concerning human rights in these countries. He will also launch a joint plan of action by the UN Human Rights Office and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to address the protection of human rights defenders in the Americas.