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.
Mercosur presidential summit off, but chair transfer to Venezuela will be done at foreign ministers' level
Mercosur presidential summit next July in Montevideo has been cancelled, but the six-month presidency of the group, currently held by Uruguay will be transferred as scheduled to Venezuela, although some conditions of the event are “pending discussion”, said on Monday foreign ministers Susana Malcorra and host Rodolfo Nin Novoa.
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.
Maduro-Shannon discuss restarting relations; OAS debates implementing Democratic Charter on Venezuela
Veteran U.S. diplomat Tom Shannon spoke for nearly two hours with Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday to re-start relations between the ideologically opposed governments amid a punishing economic crisis in the oil rich country.
Addressing the OAS Permanent Council, former Spanish president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that reconciliation is an indispensable and essential challenge to overcome the current confrontation situation in Venezuela, and although it will be a long, difficult process, he recommends dialogue efforts should continue.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry announced high-level talks to ease tensions with Venezuela's populist government on Tuesday, just hours after he backed calls for a referendum that could force President Nicolas Maduro from office. Kerry said the talks would start immediately in Caracas and be led by Thomas Shannon, a veteran of U.S. diplomacy in the region. Attempts last year at dialogue between the ideological foes were stalled by Venezuela's deepening crisis.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's allies asked the Supreme Court on Monday to block a bid to call a referendum on sacking him, accusing the opposition of fraud. The move casts doubt on the recall vote sought by the opposition, which accuses the high court of pro-Maduro bias and has clashed with it repeatedly since winning control of congress in December.
One of Venezuelan top opposition leader on Monday launched a tour of Latin American countries to rally support for his side in its bid to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office. Henrique Capriles, a senior figure in the opposition MUD coalition, was in Paraguay, Argentina and planned to move on to Brazil.
This Monday evening the Organization of American States 46th General Assembly will officially open in Santo Domingo and this year's convening agenda refers to Institutional Strengthening for Sustainable Development in the Americas. The two day gathering is also expected to focus on the Venezuela, Haiti and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission situations, and as is the norm, the Falklands-Malvinas issue will be addressed or included in the final declaration.
Brazil and Paraguay foreign ministers Jose Serra and Eladio Loizaga expressed deep concern with the Venezuela crisis situation, particularly the economic and human rights continued deterioration, and reiterated their two countries willingness to cooperate and promote dialogue.