The Uruguayan government said that it accepted the incorporation of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur as part of a “negotiation” in which it demanded no economic sanctions on Paraguay and that is why “the last word has not been said” on the issue.
During a press round following a cabinet council meeting on Monday the Deputy Secretary from the Presidency Diego Canepa expanded on Foreign minister Luis Almagro’s words, earlier in the day, when he said he was not satisfied with the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur under the current circumstances and that is why there was a request to have until July 31 to make effective the entrance of President Hugo Chavez.
According to Canepa, Uruguay ended accepting the decision although it was in favour of such a move on virtue of “political circumstances”.
“That is why President Jose Mujica decided not to veto the incorporation of Venezuela in spite of the fact that the Paraguayan parliament had not given its approval, but given the trading importance of Venezuela for Uruguay, as well as the acceptance by Brazil and Argentina not to impose economic sanctions on the Paraguayan regime”, explained Canepa.
The Deputy Secretary then revealed that President Mujica and Minister Almagro decided to attend the Mendoza summit with the idea of not allowing economic sanctions on Paraguay, because “what happened was not a problem with the Paraguayan people”.
Accordingly Mujica requested from his peers, Cristina Fernandez and Dilma Rousseff the continuity of the Mercosur Structural Convergence Fund for Paraguay and proposed that Venezuela should not cut the oil aid to the country, as Chavez had originally promised and announced.
Besides, the Uruguayan president proposed and it was accepted by the two lady presidents the opening of the regional block “to the countries from the Pacific Alliance,” a decision which Uruguay “believes is an opportunity to expand dialogue and not end up with a fractured America”.
The Pacific Alliance recently created includes Chile, Peru and Colombia, and eventually Mexico, all governments that favour open markets, foreign investment and are friendly business, which is not necessarily the case with Mercosur and the rest of the continent.
The alliance has seriously disturbed Brazilian diplomacy that is now facing a major challenge to their political, economic and trade dominance in the region.
Canepa also pointed out that Mujica requested to wait until the next Mercosur meeting in Rio do Janeiro to make official the incorporation of Venezuela instead of doing it right away in Mendoza.
“It was important that Uruguay adopted a realistic policy and having achieved what it achieved, Uruguay could not appear vetoing the access of Venezuela” argued Canepa.
The close aide of Mujica said that “Uruguay understands that from a juridical point of view another path could have been chosen and even better, but if in your country half the political public opinion supports it, you can’t reject the position”.
He also insisted that the incorporation of Venezuela to the Mercosur block was “long ago voted” by the Uruguayan parliament and besides all the presidents considered that the Ushuaia constitutional clause was not being complied during the process to remove Lugo and that is why the suspension of Paraguay from all Mercosur activities until elections are held in 2013.
“Paraguay did not leave Mercosur, but rather a democratic clause was applied. The three presidents understood that it was necessary to send a strong signal in strategic terms so that Mercosur in a complex chapter in world affairs, more precisely because of the situation the EU and US are undergoing”, concluded the loquacious Canepa.