The fracture in Mercosur was candidly revealed by Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa during an agro-business conference of cooperatives in Montevideo when he received a phone call from his Venezuelan peer Delcy Rodríguez.
Mercosur on Wednesday displayed another chapter of its internal disarray, almost farcical, when Venezuela which proclaims the presidency of the group convened a meeting at the Montevideo administrative offices that was only attended by full member Uruguay and aspiring member Bolivia.
Argentina considers that Uruguay created a vacuum in Mercosur when it unilaterally adopted the decision to devolve the block's presidency, and creating an unprecedented situation. Since then Mercosur has been involved in a serious controversy over the transfer of the presidency to Venezuela, which has strongly discredited the South American block.
Uruguay back stepped on its statements referred to Brazil's “bullying with the Mercosur presidency” and admits there was a misunderstanding regarding Brazil's invitation for a joint trade promotion in third countries, according to an official clarification Wednesday release from the Uruguayan foreign ministry.
The Brazilian government said it was deeply disappointed and surprised at statements from Uruguay's foreign minister, which are not compatible with the excelence of relations between Brazil and Uruguay, according to an official release from Itamaraty, Brazil's foreign ministry, regarding the controversy over the Mercosur presidency.
Brazil summoned Uruguay's ambassador on Tuesday after the neighboring country's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa accused Brazil of trying to buy its vote to block Venezuela from taking the rotating presidency of the Mercosur trade bloc.
Uruguay's Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said on Monday that he was opposed to the proposal that the Mercosur presidency should be held collectively, as a number of countries are opposed to Venezuela taking over the role. The proposal has been sponsored by Paraguay and Brazil for several weeks, particularly Brazil's Foreign Minister Jose Serra.
The coordinators of Mercosur founding members will decide next 23 August at a meeting in Montevideo on the legal measures to be applied on Venezuela, which self proclaimed itself the presidency of the group and is also questioned for not complying with the rules and regulations to be incorporated to the group. In that case Venezuela could lose its full member status.
Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay are waiting to see what happens on Friday, 12 August, when Venezuela has to prove that it has complied with all the pending requirements to confirm its Mercosur full membership condition dating back to 2012.
Venezuela is not helping much to resolve the unprecedented situation of Mercosur, said Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa in reference to Venezuela's self proclaimed presidency of the group and which is rejected point blank by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay who consider the post vacant.