Despite Lula’s Pressure Brazil Congress Drags Feet on Venezuela Affair

Venezuelan President with his Brazilian counterpart Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is hopeful and "confident" Venezuela will finally become a full member of Mercosur because it's a decision that "favors Brazil, South American integration and Venezuela". That's the message from Brazil's Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, during a weekend visit to Venezuela.

"The Brazilian Congress is sovereign on its decisions but we are confident" said Amorim, who was in Caracas to meet with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to address "bilateral issues".

Venezuela's incorporation to Mercosur is still waiting for approval from the legislatives of Brazil and Paraguay. The congresses of the two other full members, Argentina and Uruguay have already voted the incorporation.

Last week the Brazilian Congress Lower House began considering the Venezuelan Mercosur Incorporation Protocol but adjourned discussions for three weeks, alleging "technical flaws" in the document.

The Mercosur vote has been stalled following an exchange between Caracas and Brasí­lia last June when Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez called Brazilian Senators "Washington parrots and oligarchs" for having called on him to renew the license of Venezuela's main and longest established television station, Radio Caracas Television, that was finally forced out of the air.

The Chavez administration accused the television station of playing to the hands of the opposition and questioned the quality and vulgarity of its programs.

The Brazilian Congress reacted saying it would delay consideration of the documents and Chavez warned that Venezuela would not crawl or beg to become a member of Mercosur and set a deadline for the approval of the incorporation documents, next December.

Before meeting with Chavez, Amorim held discussions with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro which were described as "positive and productive". Amorim said it has made clear to Brazilian members of Congress that Venezuela's Mercosur incorporation is considered "very important" for Brazil.

Mercopress

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