If Venezuela's intention was to spoil Argentina's ceremony as the new holder of Mercosur pro tempore chair for the next six months, they certainly managed. A low key event at foreign ministers level, instead of a presidential summit, was briefly interrupted by the uninvited attendance of Venezuelan foreign minister 'Delcy Rodríguez' who turned up in Buenos Aires to protest what Caracas considers a Mercosur confabulation against Venezuela, suspended from the block since last 2 December.
Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro government has seized four million toys on the grounds that their owners were hoarding castles and kiddie cars ahead of Christmas. Now the “Santa Nicolas” government will be giving the toys supposedly to the poor children of the country.
In what is turning into a Caribbean soap opera, Venezuela's foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez, with Bolivia's David Choquehuenca, on Wednesday morning turned up at Argentina's foreign ministry pretending to participate in an extraordinary Mercosur council meeting, to which she had not been invited since Venezuela is officially suspended from the group.
The government of President Nicolas Maduro government closed the border with Brazil for 72 hours for the same reason it had taken the same measure with Colombia: money smuggling, Brazilian local authorities and residents of southern Venezuela who routinely cross to Brazil where they can make transactions in bolivars confirmed.
On the eve of Argentina becoming the next chair of Mercosur, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro revealed he held an hour long video conference with his Uruguayan peer Tabare Vazquez and they both agreed in building a path to channel the current conflict, which has Venezuela suspended from the group, but is rejected point blank by Caracas.
Argentina's priority as chair of Mercosur which it will officially take over this week will be to advance negotiations with the European Union for a wide ranging trade agreement which will not include Venezuela, anticipated foreign minister Susana Malcorra .
Venezuela's new currency will go into circulation on December 15 in denominations of 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500 Bolivars, with 100-, 50- and 10-bolivar coins, the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) announced.
During a commemorative assembly marking the fourth anniversary of the day the late Hugo Chavez picked him as his successor, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro called for a powerful civilian and military mobilization next December 17 to make a anti-coup test in view of the alleged threats from imperialism and national oligarchy.
The founding Mercosur countries Friday suspended Venezuela from full membership of the free-trade bloc in view of its failure to adjust its domestic regulations to economic agreements and human rights and immigration guidelines and principles that are mandatory to all the other members.
Nicolas Maduro's Venezuela has been suspended from the Mercosur regional trade bloc for failing to meet its membership requirements, a Brazilian government source revealed Thursday. And the official announcement is to be made Friday, which could not be corroborated in Buenos Aires' diplomatic circles.