Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil are considering the “demotion” of Venezuela's Mercosur full membership unless by next August 12 it complies with all conditions to hold such a position, according to the Brazilian media following a meeting of the three presidents in the sidelines of the opening of the Rio Olympic Games.
Venezuela announced it will not allow Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, “the triple alliance” to storm the Mercosur pro tempore presidency, which the government of president Nicolas Maduro is fully exercising. Caracas also claimed that economic forces operating in the dark are interested in a Mercosur “implosion”.
Venezuela’s grim situation is impacting not only millions of households around the country: it is also sending panic waves across the Caribbean all the way to Cuba, a solid ally that for decades now has relied heavily on Chavismo’s generosity.
Mercosur founding members coordinators who met in Montevideo on Thursday to address the controversy over the presidency of the group and the self proclamation to the post by Venezuela, did finally reach some conclusions, but the most significant seems to be that they continue to disagree on the steps to follow and are prepared for another round of talks.
Venezuela has defiantly confirmed that is will fully exercise the self-proclaimed presidency of Mercosur, despite the opposition from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, who consider the chair vacant and are meeting in Montevideo to find an alternative for the six month mandate.
Mercosur's disarray and fault lines were again exposed when Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay insisted that Venezuela's self proclamation as president of the group was invalid, and also expressed disappointment with Uruguay for having ended its mandate last Saturday causing great uncertainty.
Venezuela rejected Argentina's call for an urgent Mercosur meeting and underlined it is exercising the group's pro tempore presidency legally accusing Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay of being part of a Triple Alliance which is re-editing a sort of Plan Condor against Venezuela to harass and criminalize its model of development and democracy.
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have announced they do not support Venezuela as the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur, further deepening controversy in the group which could even hinder ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union and closer links with the Pacific Alliance.
Venezuela announced to fellow Mercosur members that for the rest of the year it was the new chair of the group, following on the expiration of Uruguay's six month mandate on Saturday, 30 July. The news was released by Spain's official news agency EFE, which alleges to have had access to the letter sent by the Venezuelan foreign ministry to the other four members.
Brazil and Paraguay's rejection to Venezuela holding the Mercosur rotating chair sounds much like a desperate attitude, but nevertheless it is unpostponable, said Venezuela foreign minister Delcy Rodríguez: ”it is impossible that the compliance of the (Mercosur) treaty can't be respected”.