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Montevideo, February 29th 2024 - 01:49 UTC



Brazilian Senate further delays vote on Mercosur incorporation of Venezuela

Friday, November 27th 2009 - 05:14 UTC
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President Chavez calls “to prepare for war”, froze Senators intentions President Chavez calls “to prepare for war”, froze Senators intentions

Former Brazilian president and head of the Senate Jose Sarney said that the upper house has no interest “for the moment” in casting a vote on the Protocol papers for the incorporation of Venezuela as the fifth full member of Mercosur.

“The issue needs another agreement between all political forces in the Senate. In spite of an understanding that whenever the matter has to be decided, it would have a quick discussion in the House, now it is at a stage where none of the parties want to address it since it has become highly controversial”, pointed out Sarney in a statement to the Brazilian Senate’s press office.

Sarney who ruled Brazil from 1985 to 1990 following on the fall of the military dictatorship (1964/1985) is a harsh critic of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, in spite of the fact that his party belongs to the coalition worked out by President Lula da Silva for a quick incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur.

Last November 10 the Senate agreed to postpone a vote on the issue, the last step of a long path for the definitive approval of Venezuela’s adhesion protocol to Mercosur. The trade group has as full members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Most of the rest of South American countries are associate members of the block.

When President Chavez called on the Venezuelan people and military “to prepare for war” over its conflict with neighbouring Colombia, Brazilian senators immediately cooled to the agreement that had been reached precisely for a positive vote, later that very week.

The adhesion protocol was approved last October by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, and was pending the vote in the full house, which in Brazil is definitive.

The Argentine and Uruguayan legislatives have already voted on the issue, (originally presented by President Chavez in 2006) and in case Brazil finally approves it will then have to be considered by the Paraguayan congress.

President Fernando Lugo was forced to “temporarily” withdraw the initiative a few months ago because of an adverse climate to the approval in the Paraguayan Senate, following an exchange of epithets with the Venezuelan leader.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, Mercosur.

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