Venezuelan Vice-president Jorge Arreaza said that cooperation between China and Venezuela, which has been especially strong and beneficial in energy and technology, could be extended to include agriculture and land exploitation, an area of special interest for Beijing.
Venezuela says it's ending talks with the United States to restore normal relations because Washington's UN ambassador-designate criticized its human rights record. Venezuela currently holds the chair of Mercosur.
Paraguayan president elect Horacio Cartes confirmed that his government will insist in its position regarding Mercosur, which expects Paraguay to return as full active member following the inauguration ceremony 15 August.
The Venezuelan parliament approved Bolivia’s protocol of adherence to Mercosur as full member thus clearing the way for the landlocked mostly indigenous populated country to become the sixth member of the South American trade block next to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Paraguay will hold the rotating chair of Mercosur after Venezuela, at the end of this year, which will mark the full active comeback of the country to the regional block, announced Uruguay’s Foreign minister Luis Almagro on Monday in Montevideo.
Mercosur leaders agreed on Friday to call home for consultation their ambassadors to Spain, France, Italy and Portugal to protest last week's forced diversion of the Bolivian president's aircraft. They also strongly defended their right to offer asylum Friday, venting anger at claims of US spying in the region while intelligence leaker Edward Snowden's fate hangs in the balance.
“Mercosur has closed its doors to Paraguay and it’s not good for Latinamerican integration”, was the first reaction from Asuncion after the group announced the presidency for Venezuela and lifting the suspension of Paraguay next 15 August.
President Nicolas Maduro remembered former leader Hugo Chavez and pledged his main priority as president of Mercosur would be to ensure the quick return of Paraguay to the group. Maduro made the statement on Friday in Montevideo during the ceremony in which he received the official Mercosur presidency gavel from Uruguayan president Jose Mujica which means he will be holding the pro tempore chair for the next six months.
This coming August 15, Mercosur will lift the suspension on Paraguay's participations that has held since June 29 2012, Uruguay Minister Luis Almagro announced on Thursday during a meeting of the group’s foreign ministers in Montevideo.
President-elect Horacio Cartes will not make any comments on the ongoing dispute of Paraguay with Mercosur until after the group’s summit in Uruguay next Friday, when official decisions on the subject are expected to be made public. However for both sides any decision will most probably be challenging and ratify that Mercosur has become a political group far from its original trade and investment purposes.