Venezuela’s incorporation to Mercosur will be completed next March according to ABN news agency from Caracas. Apparently the formality will take place in the second week of March following the end of the Paraguayan congressional recess.
“The excellent relation with the Paraguayan Lower House that will support the initiative” is considered the decisive factor for the long fought Venezuelan struggle to become the full fifth member of the South American block.
“Once congressional activity resumes in Paraguay during the second week of March, the legislative agenda will include a vote on the approval of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur, which will conclude with the formal access of our country to this regional block at mid year”, underlines de ABN digital report.
ABN is a Venezuelan government funded news agency.
The agency quotes Venezuelan member of the National Assembly Jhannet Madriz who said she was confident about the excellent relations with Paraguay’s Lower House”, and that she does not doubt the Chamber of Deputies “of a brother-country will approve the definitive inclusion of the Venezuelan nation in Mercosur”.
“We have no doubts that the Paraguayans will approve the incorporation of Venezuela because with that country we have very good relations and excellent cooperation agreements”, added the Venezuelan legislator.
Madriz said that recent statements from Paraguayans members of Parliament who forecasted a negative vote on the incorporation process “were false or fabricated”.
Venezuela’s inclusion in Mercosur as full member is awaiting the vote from the Paraguayan congress. Argentine and Uruguayan legislators approved the incorporation a few months after Venezuela’s formal request in 2006.
However the vote was stalled in the Brazilian Congress and after much discussion and political maneuverings the administration of President Lula da Silva managed to convince (or twist the arms) of the Senate just a few weeks ago.
A significant number of members of the Upper House, including from Lula da Silva’s ruling coalition do not approve President Hugo Chavez erratic interpretation and practice of democracy and governance.
Finally huge contracts in Venezuela for Brazilian corporations added to the pressure plus the simple convincing statement from the Venezuelan opposition that “it was better to have (eclectic) Chavez inside, than outside Mercosur” in alliance with out of the region countries or organizations.
But in Paraguay, President Fernando Lugo does not have a majority in Congress or their sympathy and the coalition that took him to office is divided. Last August the initiative had to be withdrawn from the Paraguayan congress when Lugo was informed that the vote would be negative.
Nevertheless it’s hard to see how a non-vote from Mercosur weakest member can stand up to the decision of the remaining three full members, and particularly Brazil that has a long standing historic influence in land-locked Paraguay.