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Mercosur: Paraguay Senate has been convinced and will vote for Venezuela

Thursday, December 2nd 2010 - 00:07 UTC
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Lino Oviedo the “cork” always manages to be where the action is Lino Oviedo the “cork” always manages to be where the action is

The Paraguayan Senate is expected to finally vote for the incorporation of Venezuela as Mercosur full member next week following intense political negotiations. Paraguay’s vote is decisive to complete the Venezuelan membership process since lawmakers of the other Mercosur countries Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil have already approved the incorporation.

The initiative sent by the Paraguayan Executive to Congress needs a simple majority, 23 out of 45 votes in the Senate, and mathematically according to the latest estimates, the magic number can be reached. Apparently there are three faithful votes which respond to President Fernando Lugo, another 14 from the Liberal party, which was the backbone of the ruling catch all coalition, now atomized, and nine from Unace, a dissident group from the main Colorado opposition party headed by a former general (Lino Oviedo) involved in a coup attempt and for which he was jailed several years.

The Political Committee of the Liberal party recommended Wednesday afternoon support for the initiative and Unace was debating the issue late into the night.

The arguments to support the initiative are the significant economic and energy importance of Venezuela, the fact it could help balance Mercosur now totally dominated by Argentina and Brazil to the detriment of junior members Paraguay and Uruguay, and finally that the overwhelming majority of Mercosur, in population and GDP, want Venezuela in.

Furthermore Brazil through its non-action is conditioning a Lula da Silva-Lugo agreement to improve Paraguay’s financial and resources cut of the world’ largest operational hydroelectric complex Itaipú, shared by the neighbouring Mercosur members.

The main objection is President Hugo Chavez who “dos not abide by the Mercosur democratic clause” and is accused of becoming increasingly authoritarian, attacking or strangling the media and persecuting the opposition. “He (Chavez) recalls us our recent Paraguayan past under successive dictatorship governments”, argue some Senators.

Nevertheless, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee is scheduled to address the initiative and once it has been approved, it could go for an immediate vote on the floor. This however according to congressional sources is more likely to happen next week giving time to the two political groups to sort out possible inside dissent.

The Paraguayan media has revealed that the Liberals and Unece support will be rewarded with seats in the Supreme Court, Attorney General Office, Electoral Board and the Comptrollers’ Office.

But since Paraguay is Paraguay, and it is a relatively new democracy, some unnamed members of Congress have admitted and the media has openly reported, there are six million US dollars deposited in an Argentine bank (allegedly sent by the Chavez administration) to be split four and two, in case there are still doubts that Venezuela has to be confirmed as a Mercosur full member.

Officially the Paraguayan Executive has said that it would like the vote on time for the Mercosur summit to be hosted by Brazil at Foz de Iguazú, December 17 when the pro-tempore presidency of the group for the next six months will be passed on to Paraguay.

Categories: Politics, Mercosur, Paraguay.

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  • xbarilox

    “has been convinced” Mamita querida! who writes this? You defeated with those three words, the title is awful. It sounds like a Latino América united is a bad thing, well, actually it is, for the invaders.

    Dec 02nd, 2010 - 12:24 am 0
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