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Brazilian Lower House approved Bolivia's entry to Mercosur pending since 2018; nex step Senate's consent

Monday, October 23rd 2023 - 06:46 UTC
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Bolivia’s entry into the bloc was approved by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies’ Foreign Affairs Committee in 2018 during President Temer’s administration Bolivia’s entry into the bloc was approved by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies’ Foreign Affairs Committee in 2018 during President Temer’s administration

The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies – the lower house of Congress – has recently approved Bolivia’s entry into Mercosur, eight years after Bolivia applied to join the regional bloc. The request will now be evaluated by the Senate.

The bloc currently has five full members: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela (suspended since 2016 “for breaking democratic order”). Bolivia’s accession has been awaiting Brazil’s consent since July 2015 and has already been accepted by the other member countries.

Bolivia’s entry into the bloc was approved by the Chamber of Deputies’ Foreign Affairs Committee in 2018 during President Temer’s administration. However, it was not approved in the plenary at that time. Subsequently, during President Bolsonaro’s administration, it faced ideological issues as the Bolivian government leaned left.

The current President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, met with former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in September 2022 when Lula was a presidential candidate and again in June of this year, seeking support for his country’s accession to the regional bloc. Congress finally approved the project by 323 votes to 98. The PL, the party of former President Jair Bolsonaro, allowed its legislators to vote freely and did not take a formal position for or against the move.

The government’s leader in the Chamber, Deputy José Guimarães (Workers Party – PT), criticized the opposition’s stance and emphasized that the ideological orientation of the Bolivian government was not up for discussion. “It’s an agreement that is good for Brazil, excellent for the Brazilian economy,” he said. Deputy Lindbergh Farias (PT – Rio de Janeiro) highlighted that Bolivia shares the longest dry border with Brazil. “When you enter the single market, there are no tariffs, which is in Brazil’s interest,” he stated.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, Latin America.
Tags: Bolivia.

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