Chavez Shoots Back in Word War with Brazil and Threatens to Leave Mercosur

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez said he's willing to withdraw his country's request to become full member of Mercosur because in his own words it's a mechanism "marked by capitalism and ferocious competition", according to an official news release.

Chavez arrived Saturday to Teheran for a "work visit" and was quoted stating that "we're not desperate to become members of an old Mercosur with no desire to change. If we can't make it to Mercosur because the Brazilian conservative right is stronger, then we simply quit".

"If they don't want us inside Mercosur, we have no problem. I'm capable even of withdrawing the request," insisted Chavez talking about the Brazilian Congress, which is expecting an apology gesture from Chavez following some offensive comments he made, before ratifying Venezuela's membership.

Earlier in the week Brazil's Foreign Secretary Celso Amorim said that Brazil was conditioning Venezuela's incorporation to Mercosur to Chavez' retraction regarding offensive statements about the Brazilian Congress.

"Nobody is asking for a self flagellation from Venezuela, but a positive gesture is needed regarding the Brazilian Congress", Amorim was quoted in an interview with O Globo.

Chavez called Brazilian Congress members "parrots" at the service of the US, and oligarchs, following a Senate committee condemnation of his decision not to renew the license to Venezuela's longest established television station, RCTV. Chavez accused RCTV of conspiring with the opposition to bring down his regime.

Brazil officially rejected President Chavez comments and members of Congress said they would not approve Venezuela's Mercosur Protocol of Adhesion unless he apologizes.

Chavez was absent from the latest Mercosur presidential summit which took place this week in Paraguay. He was away in Russia and Byelorussia shopping for arms, and Iran.

Venezuela requested full membership of Mercosur when early last year he walked out of the Andean Community complaining because its members were intent in signing free trade agreements with United States.

Mercopress

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