Former president Jorge Batlle (2000/2005) said that the inclusion of Venezuela in Mercosur “is favourable for Uruguay” but at the same time insisted it was “wrongly done” for not having taken into account Paraguay’s opposition currently suspended as member of the regional block.
Batlle who belongs to the Partido Colorado, junior partner of the opposition was interviewed on Sunday by Uruguay’s leading daily, El Pais and said that “it is good for Uruguay that Venezuela becomes a market inside Mercosur”, made up of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and since last July 31, Venezuela.
But the inclusion process was “wrongly done” because the 1991 Mercosur founding treaty of Asuncion was ignored as well as the “democratic clauses from the Ushuaia accord”.
Venezuela’s incorporation was approved June 29 during the Mercosur summit in Mendoza and ratified last week in an extraordinary meeting held in Brasilia.
In the first of the meetings between presidents Cristina Fernandez from Argentina, Dilma Rousseff from Brazil and Jose Mujica from Uruguay, the temporary suspension of Paraguay was approved following the removal from the presidency of Fernando Lugo and his replacement by Federico Franco following a political impeachment process by the Senate.
Venezuela originally requested to join Mercosur in 2006 which was approved by the four governments including Paraguay but the approval by the legislatives was slow. In the case of Argentina and Uruguay the inclusion of Venezuela was voted immediately, in Brazil it took a few years and long negotiations, but Paraguayan Senators blocked the final step. Suspending Paraguay opened the way for Venezuela.
Batlle said that Mercosur acted wrongly in the process of accepting Venezuela and that the Paraguayan Senate should have given former president Lugo more time to organize his defence.
Venezuela has become the seventh market for Uruguayan exports in the first half of 2011 with exports of 120 million dollars and fifth this year with sales of 208 million dollars between January-June 2012.