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Montevideo, October 2nd 2023 - 00:46 UTC



Paraguayan president ratifies full political support for Mercosur

Saturday, October 26th 2013 - 00:25 UTC
Full article 26 comments
Cartes and Mujica sign the joint communiqué next to Foreign ministers Eloizaga and Almagro Cartes and Mujica sign the joint communiqué next to Foreign ministers Eloizaga and Almagro

President Horacio Cartes although admitting he is heart and mind committed to Mercosur, Paraguay's full return to Mercosur is in the hands of diplomacy since as head of state he must abide strictly by the rule of the law.

”When Cartes candidate was on campaign I was politically fully committed to Mercosur, I can't see (small) countries acting on their own, but as president I must comply with the rule of the law, international law, and that is a job for the diplomatic experts, for the foreign affairs ministers”, said Cartes on Friday during his brief visit to Uruguay and responding to a specific question on the issue.

Paraguay was suspended from Mercosur in June /July 2012 because of events which removed Fernando Lugo from the Executive following an overwhelming impeachment vote in the Senate to have him replaced by the Vice-president.

The suspension was to last until a new president was elected (April 2013), in this case Horacio Cartes who was inaugurated last August. However Mercosur at the same time leaving aside the institutional framework incorporated Venezuela as full member, ignoring consensus and attendance rules.

Venezuela's incorporation was pending for several years because the Paraguayan Senate refused to have the Hugo Chavez regime in the group. Once Mercosur ignored suspended Paraguay and incorporated Venezuela the Paraguayan Senate voted overwhelmingly against such incorporation.

Venezuela currently holds the Mercosur chair but Paraguayan policy remains.

Therefore the Cartes administration in Montevideo finished the round of bilateral contacts with Mercosur members leaders (Argentina, Brazil) but until the legal aspects are not concluded will it delay the formality of the full return.

This however did not impede the re-establishment of full relations with Venezuela or a bilateral meeting of Nicolas Maduro and Cartes in an Unasur summit in Suriname, and a visit of Venezuelan foreign minister Elías Jaua to Asuncion to formalize relations.

The stumbling blocks are basically the negative vote of the Paraguayan Senate, and Mercosur decision to incorporate Venezuela taking advantage of Paraguay's suspension, which as Cartes said “is the job of foreign ministers to untangle”.

“Let's be practical, I support Mercosur politically: if Paraguay or Uruguay goes knocking on a door, 'yes. who's there? Paraguay', the reply will be 'come back on Monday'. But if we are united, if we have a larger weight and influence, we have Mercosur, as the world works today, they will open the door” illustrated Cartes.

But Mercosur also needs of Paraguay, because at the end of the year the trade bloc must agree on proposals to exchange with the European Union for a long delayed cooperation and trade agreement, and Brussels demands that all members must be part of such an exchange.

Top Comments

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  • Brasileiro

    Everything as it should be.

    Oct 26th, 2013 - 01:14 am 0
  • redp0ll

    Is it Brasileiro? Expound please

    Oct 26th, 2013 - 03:58 am 0
  • Anglotino


    Everything is as it should be. Mercosur is moribund and as an actual institution does nothing to better the lives of its member state's citizens nor advance itself on the world stage.

    In 1985 when PICE (the precursor) was first founded, China's GDP was 7% of the US (9th in the world), the EU didn't exist but the EEC had 10 members, the Soviet Union struck fear into the hearts of many as it strutted the world stage as a super power and the UN had 159 members.

    In 1991 when Mercosur was founded, China was still unremarkable with the world's 9th largest GDP, the EEC had 12 members and had absorbed East Germany and was close to founding the EU, the USSR was disintegrating and on its last legs and the UN had 166 members.

    Now its 2013, China's GDP is 52% of the US's and 2nd largest economy, the EU has 27 members and its own currency, the USSHuh? and the UN has 193 members.

    And what has Mercosur done in 28 years?

    “Everything as it should be”
    Everything as it has been, you mean.

    No wonder the Pacific Alliance causes so many waves.

    Oct 26th, 2013 - 04:03 am 0
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