Venezuela targets MERCOSUR
Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez will participate this month in Mercosur's mid year summit to formally request his country's membership in the block.
The summit is scheduled to be held in Asuncion, Paraguay from June 19th. to 21st.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Luis Alfonso Avila made the announcement in Caracas in spite of serious criticism from local business organizations who argue that Venezuela should negotiate access as part of the Andean Community and not unilaterally.
Andean Community and Mercosur talks have been bogged for months over tariffs and special products lists. Chilean president in Brasilia
Chilean president in Brasilia
On his return from a visit to Germany and Spain, Chilean president Ricardo Lagos stopped in Brazil where his country's contacts with the European Union were publicly endorsed by president Fernando Cardoso, according to the Chilean press in Santiago.
"Our current negotiations with Europe and United States do not mean we don't have our feet in the region and that our foreign policy advances from Mercosur", said president Lagos.
"We're particularly satisfied with President Cardoso's understanding of the situation and the fact that Brazil encouraged our talks with the European Union", stressed Mr. Lagos.
Chilean press indicated that Mr. Lagos stopped in Brasilia following Brazil's ill feeling regarding Chile's bilateral trade approach with United States that began last November, but failed to advance under pressure from American interests.
Apparently Mr. Lagos also contacted Argentine president De la Rúa on Chile's negotiations with the European Union. Punta Arenas cruise initiative
Punta Arenas cruise initiative
Punta Arenas port authorities, Empresa Porturaria Austral, EPA, have contacted a French company to represent their interests in Europe.
Fernando Castillo Román, EPA's CEO reported to Punta Arenas press from Spain that the agreement with the French company, that was not identified, will emphasize in the summer cruise schedule.
A delegation of Magallanes port officials also visited Spain trying to attract investors to the region particularly for the extension of Punta Arenas port. Chile opens border to Argentine cattle
Chile opens border to Argentine cattle