The Pressure Is on for Brazil to Get Chavez into the Mercosur

Hugo Chavez Requested by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, in 2006, Venezuela's incorporation to Mercosur is still pending approval from the Brazilian and Paraguayan Upper houses. Argentina and Uruguay lawmakers confirmed the adhesion protocols but in the Brazilian senate it has been a slow process made longer by Chavez offensive language towards the senators: "lap pets of the empire" and "representatives of the Brazilian oligarchy," he called them.

However sometime this month the initiative could be approved by the Brazilian Senate following strong pressure from Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazilian corporations and even the Venezuelan opposition, which would "rather have Chavez inside than outside Mercosur, so he's less harmful."

What can happen in Paraguay is yet unknown. Venezuela needs the approval from the four full members' legislatives to be formally incorporated to Mercosur as its fifth member.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has also infuriated Paraguayan congress arguing that with the excuse of Bolivia's "rearmament" they are conspiring to oust President Fernando Lugo, statements that could further delay Venezuela's Mercosur incorporation process.

During the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) summit in Bolivia, Chavez claimed that the "conservative" members of the Paraguayan congress were conspiring to put an end to the government of President Lugo, which they considered "weak" because of his "non-reaction" to the purchase by Bolivia of six fighter aircrafts.

In effect Bolivia signed an agreement for six Chinese aircrafts at a cost of US$ 57 million, supposedly for border surveillance and to help combat the drugs trade. Bolivia has also been granted a US$ 100 million credit from Russia for the purchase of military hardware.

"The populist dictator makes this kind of speeches because he's "nuts," because the Paraguayan Senate does not allow the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur, precisely because of this kind of crazy, unfounded statements," said Miguel Carrizosa, president of the Paraguayan Senate, quoted by the Asunción press.

"Why are the reactionary Paraguayan senators so scared," asked mockingly Chavez sitting next to Bolivia's Evo Morales at the summit in Cochabamba. "Evo, how many planes did you buy? 400 or 600?…just six – what a joke", laughed Chavez. "With six planes you are planning to conquer Paraguay…"

"This is again evidence that when Chavez does not get his way, he insults and offends, in this case the Paraguayan Legislative and once again shows his reiterated interference in the internal affairs of other countries," said Senator Carrizosa.

"At the moment it's very hard to find anyone more fascist and dictator than Chavez," concluded the Senator.



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