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Chávez says Venezuela is to withdraw from the Andean Community

Despite some member countries calls to relaunch the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), President Hugo Chávez Wednesday decreed the death of this group.

His comments came during a work meeting with the presidents of Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia held in Asunción, Paraguay.

"For some years now, I have been warning that the Andean Community is dead. Right now, I am the president of the CAN, what am I presiding? A big lie, especially now, when both Colombia and Peru have initialed Free Trade Agreements with the United States. They have killed CAN for good!"

Chávez added his country was leaving the CAN because it was "nonsense."

Chávez hinted that Mercosur should undergo deep transformations, "otherwise, Mercosur will die like the CAN died."

Meanwhile, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe proposed the presidents of the countries comprising the CAN to hold a meeting intended to overcome this impasse.

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