Brazil to Pressure Paraguay into Accepting Venezuela in Mercosur

Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan presidentBelieving that Venezuela is an extremely important factor for the social and economic development of South America, Brazil will insist upon Paraguay on the need for the approval of Venezuela’s incorporation as full member of Mercosur, stressed Senator Romero Jucá from the Brazilian ruling coalition.

The congressman stated that Brazil will keep insisting on Paraguay, the only country remaining to accept full incorporation of Venezuela because “we need to strengthen regional integration and economic complementation through Mercosur with Venezuela as an ally.”

“Venezuela fully integrated to Mercosur represents more unity for South America,” he said. Jucá also pointed out that recognizing other nations “as sister countries but different,” is an essential factor for regional complementation.

“We need all countries in the south to strengthen the domestic market and to have a strong voice in world affairs,” said the senator, who pointed out that there are already joint actions between countries and “these countries could help to strengthen and expand these actions in the region”.

The senator mentioned bilateral agreements between Venezuela and Brazil, “for example to help reach equilibrium with trade and balance of payments”.

“Socially, (presidents) Lula and Hugo Chavez have successfully carried out many inclusion plans and what we are looking for within Mercosur is to complement such activities […] “. Jucá promised Brazil would insist upon Paraguay on the benefits and advantages that Venezuela’s incorporation to the block will represent.

Last December, after almost three years of debate, the plenary of the Brazilian Senate approved the inclusion as Mercosur full member of Venezuela with 35 votes in favor and 27 against. Argentina and Uruguay legislatives were the first to approve the incorporation and now it only depends on Paraguay’s senators.

The original document accepting Venezuela’s request to join Mercosur as full member was endorsed by the leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, June 2006, during a ceremony that took place in Caracas.

The proposal is stalled in the Paraguayan Senate because President Fernando Lugo does not have sufficient support and several members of the higher house question President Chavez “autocratic style and practices”, contrary to the so-called “Mercosur democratic clause.”

Mercopress

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