Brazil Confirms: Cuba on the Verge of Joining Mercosur

    Cuba may become an associate member of the Mercosur as early as 2005, affirms the Argentinean undersecretary of Economic Integration, Eduardo Sigal.

    Brazilian officials confirm the possibility of Cuba and Mexico’s entering into free trade agreements with the bloc currently formed by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.


    Chile, Bolivia, and Peru are already associate members.


    The Mercosur officially received Cuba’s request to join a trade bloc for the first time on March 12 of this year.


    “Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay have no objections to Cuba’s entry, but Uruguay is presently opposed to dealing with this question. Since everything in the Mercosur is done by consensus, a change in attitude or policy will be necessary for us to discuss the matter,” Sigal explains.


    In April, 2002, when the Administration of the current Uruguayan President, Jorge Batlle, had already begun, Uruguay and Cuba severed diplomatic and commercial ties.


    It all started when Montevideo pressed the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to send an observer to Havana to report on respect for human rights in that Caribbean country.


    The proposal, which implied a criticism of Cuba’s conduct in this area, was approved. The Cuban government accused Batlle of being “servile” to US interests.


    Batlle says that political conditions in Cuba prevent an association between that country and the Mercosur.


    “It is impossible, because the Cuban system fails to meet the democratic prerequisite.”


    Batlle claims the endorsement of the so-called Democratic Clause of the Mercosur, in the Ushuaia (Argentina) Protocol of July, 1998.


    This clause determines that “the full sway of democratic institutions is an essential condition for the development of the processes of integration among the Member States; and that any alteration of democratic order constitutes an unacceptable obstacle to participation in the process of integration.”


    In other words, a country must have a democratic government to be an associate member of the Mercosur. The other requirement for becoming an associate member is the signing of a free trade agreement, the stage that Cuba now wishes to attain. On this item, there is no obstacle to an agreement.


    “The democratic clause applies to a country that wants to become an associate member. Cuba has not yet requested this stage. For a trade agreement of the type 4+1, the step preceding membership, it is not necessary to comply with the clause.


    “Furthermore, it is not clear that the clause can be applied against Cuba, where, although party pluralism doesn’t exist, participatory democracy and elections for representatives are present, as in any political system. The elements of voice and representation [characteristic] of a Republic are there. It will a topic for debate,” Sigal foresees.


    Agência Brasil
    Translator: David Silberstein

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (1)

    • Guest

      Let\’s start using \”Mercosul\” instead
      I can easily understand the economic interests behind Cuba and Brasil strategies, even though Cubans agents have played a very detrimental strategic role to the Brazilian people, taking a good blame for incitating our past dictatorial regime.

      However, I cannot simply observe most people utilize a term in its Spanish version, without at least a reference to the Brazilian version- Mercosul (parenthesis).

      Brazil is the major player in Mercosul, and only because there are much more Spanish-descendants in the US than Brazilians and consequently, this market has been referred to in Spanish terms in the same proportion, that does not make the Spanish conotation the most valid one (and interesting for Brazil).

      I propose “Mercosul” as the new reference to this market Marcio. Let’s try to invert the trend towards the Spanization or Latinization of true Brazilian initiatives abroad.

      Kind regards,

      Luiz cruz

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Brazil Washes Its Hands on Dispute Between Venezuela and Neighbors

    Brazil’s special presidential adviser on international affairs, Marco Aurélio Garcia, declared last night, April ...

    Embraer's ethanol-propelled Ipanema

    Ethanol-powered Plane Is Just One Item on Brazil Embraer’s Green Push

    Embraer, Brazil's world-famous aircraft manufacturer, has established a board of directors aimed at expanding ...

    Brazil’s GDP Decelerates, But It Is Still Up 2.9%

    In the first three months of this year, the total wealth produced by the ...

    Street protests in Brazil

    Mass Protests Awaken Brazil’s Political Consciousness

    In what has been deemed Brazil’s largest political mobilization in over two decades, protesters ...

    Brazil Close to a Deal on AIDS Drug with Abbott

    Brazil continues to negotiate AIDS drug prices with multinational pharmaceutical laboratories. At the moment, ...

    Tears and Indignation Won’t Save Lula’s Job

    The ongoing scandal involving allegations that the Workers Party (PT) paid bribes to members ...

    Dollars pile

    Foreign Currency: Brazil Ended 2008 in the Red

    The green influx of dollars in Brazil has decreased quite a bit. After five ...

    Nem

    Rio Arrests Drug Lord of Rocinha, Its Biggest Favela, in Preparation for Olympics

    Earlier today, Rio police arrested Antonio Francisco Bomfim Lopes, alias Nem, the drug lord ...

    Brazil beef

    Beef Exports Have Already Brought Brazil Over US$ 2 Billion This Year

    From January to May Brazil has exported US$ 2.06 billion in beef, representing growth ...