Brazil and Mercosur Prepare Summit Under Chavez Cloud

    Mercosur headquarters in Montevideo

    Mercosur headquarters in Montevideo Foreign Affairs and Economy ministers from Mercosur met Friday, October 26, in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, to address asymmetries and non tariff restrictions inside the block, an ongoing issue which has become a source of growing contention between full members, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

    The ministers gathering in the framework of the Common Market Council was "extraordinary" and is part of the preparations for the half year summit next December in Montevideo when the Mercosur chair will be handed by Uruguay to Argentina.

    "We're a political mechanism and our decisions are then sent to each country member for the normal parliamentary ratification process," said Uruguay's Foreign Affairs minister Reinaldo Gargano.

    "Uruguay and Paraguay are very much interested in seeing the internal asymmetries corrected, and this must begin with the elimination of non tariff disturbances," said Gargano who underlined that size and different rate of expansion of the regional economies is at the heart of the matter.

    "Uruguay is interested in a Customs code, an end to the double external tariff practice and steps to promote and privilege regional trade," insisted Gargano. "Brazil and Argentina's economies must give us a chance to trade taking into account circumstances and the asymmetries."

    Mercosur trade for Brazil represents 5% compared to over 35% both for Uruguay and Paraguay.

    Another contentious issue is Venezuela's incorporation to Mercosur as a full member which has been approved by the legislatives of Argentina and Uruguay but has faced opposition in the Brazilian Congress following an exchange of abusive language between President Chavez and Senators.

    Last Wednesday a committee in Brazil's lower house of Congress gave its approval to Venezuela's entry, but the proposal from the Foreign Relations Committee still faces two more votes in the Chamber before it goes to the Senate, where an opposition critical of President Chavez holds more power.

    Chavez has accused Brazilian legislators of acting on behalf of Washington in delaying Venezuela's request to enter Mercosur. In June, Chavez called Brazilian legislators "parrots" and stooges of the United States for criticizing his closure of an opposition TV station.

    In response several congressmen threatened to block Venezuela's Mercosur entry, saying the Chavez government did not meet the trade group's democratic principles.

    Brazil and Venezuela share the desire to deepen South American trade ties as a counterbalance to rich country interests but Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has often distanced himself from Chavez's anti-market and nationalist policies.

    Skeptic analysts believe the decision in the Brazilian Congress could take at least 45 days since the Senate is controlled by conservative members who are suspicious of Chavez ambitions to forge a regional alliance against Washington.

    So far, the discreet talk in diplomatic circles in Caracas is that there's little sign of Venezuela's entry happening yet. On top of the uncertainty in Brazil, the Congress in the Paraguayan capital, Asuncion, has yet to vote on Venezuela's case.

    As a politically equal but economically inferior partner of Mercosur, the Paraguayans are said to dig in their heels from time to time to ensure their presence is felt.

    In the meantime, Venezuela will continue to have associate status at Mercosur, with observer rights but little more.

    Mercopress

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (3)

    • shelly

      Chavez
      Chavez to Lula: Ustedes no contaron con mi astucia! Yo soy el Chapulin Colorado!

    • JAY GLENN

      FINESSE
      THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHAVEZ AND THE SENATE?

      THE SENATE IS BETTER AT COVERING UP ITS TRUE NATURE.

    • forrest Brown

      let chaves buy his way in
      so if chaves comes to brasil will he be placed in jail for

      calling the goverment of brasil names

    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

    In France, This Whole Year, Brazil Is the Word

    In 1985 France began a series of Cultural Seasons (“Saisons Culturelles”) which honored foreign ...

    Brazilian Finance Minister’s Career Ends in Farce. Mantega Is the New Man.

    After months of charges and denials of misconduct, the main architect of Brazilian President ...

    Illiteracy Falls in Brazil, But It’s Still the Lot of 10.5%

    Despite the progress that has occurred in education in recent years, illiteracy persisted among ...

    ‘You Need Balls to Take the Argentineans,’ vents Brazil’s Lula

    Argentina reacted coolly to an alleged critical expression from Brazilian President Lula da Silva ...

    Brazil’s Petrobras Pours US$ 9 Million in 76 Social Programs

    Brazilian oil giant Petrobras announced the 76 social projects that will receive funds from ...

    Brazil Searching Candidates for This Year’s Teacher Prize

    Inscriptions for this year’s Teacher Prize for Brazilian public school teachers will close on ...

    Angra 1 Nuclear Plant

    Nuclear Brazil Is Hiding Something. But What?

    Secrecy shrouding Brazil’s nuclear capabilities, suspected technological advances and provocative statements made by Luiz ...

    With 2 Million Kids Working Brazil Promises End to Child Labor

    Since 1996 the Brazilian government has been able to rescue 930 thousand working children ...

    Second in Line of Presidential Succession in Brazil Guilty of Extortion

    The owner of the Fiorella, a restaurant and snack bar chain, Sebastião Augusto Buani, ...

    Brazil Starts Program Against Sex Tourism

    The Plan of Action for Sustainable Tourism and Childhood went into effect yesterday. Unveiled ...