Mercosur four founding members meeting in Montevideo have been unable to reach a consensus on whether to transfer, for the next six months, the group's pro tempore presidency to Venezuela and decided on a new round of talks next Thursday. Uruguay insists in complying with the charter and calendar, but Paraguay and Brazil question the current government of Venezuela's credentials for the job, and Argentina has an ambiguous position.
PAHO/WHO congratulates Uruguay for successfully defending tobacco control policies, “a model for the region”
The Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) congratulated n Friday the Government of Uruguay for winning an international legal case brought by the Philip Morris tobacco company. Philip Morris challenged tobacco control regulations implemented by Uruguay in compliance with its obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world's first international public health treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO.
Jihad Ahmad Diyab, the ex Guantanamo Syrian inmate which was liberated and given refuge in Uruguay, and apparently recently crossed the border to neighboring Brazil has not infringed any law and is not on the run, according to Christian Mirza who acts as a link between the Uruguayan government and the ex Guantanamo prisoners accepted by Uruguay at the end of 2014.
Uruguay won on Friday an arbitration case against US tobacco giant Philip Morris, which sued the state claiming its strict anti-tobacco law harmed the cigarette maker's business, both sides said. Philip Morris argued that Uruguay had violated terms of a bilateral investment treaty with Switzerland, where it has its main headquarters.
In a historic public health victory that will be felt around the world, Uruguay has won an international legal battle against Philip Morris International to uphold its strong laws to reduce tobacco use. The event was underlined by international philanthropies, which also supported Uruguay during the litigation.
Uruguay ratified on Thursday its willingness to transfer the Mercosur presidency to Venezuela despite objections from the other members, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. In a brief statement in its official site, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Uruguay, currently holding the Mercosur pro tempore chair reiterates its position to proceed to transfer the presidency, in abidance with what is established by the current Mercosur rules.
The deep differences among Mercosur members as to who should hold the group's rotating chair this second half of the year surfaced openly in Montevideo with the surprise visit of Brazilian foreign minister Jose Serra and ex president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The Brazilin delegation formally requested Uruguay, which currently holds the six/month Mercosur chair to suspend the transfer to Venezuela until at least August.
Mercosur is again split over Venezuela because Paraguay, and apparently Brazil, have not been consulted regarding the decision to hand the pro tempore presidency of the block to Venezuela in July, as was agreed in Montevideo by Uruguay and Argentina.
Brazilian interim president Michel Temer will be absent from the next Mercosur summit scheduled to take place in Montevideo, and this decision is considered a strong message to the Venezuelan government of president Nicolas Maduro that will be taking the group's chair for the next six months.
United Kingdom´s Leave victory did not come as a great surprise, since the race was too tight, but that was the decision of the people and the economy is large and strong, admitted British ambassador in Uruguay, Ben Lyster-Binns, in a television interview.