Brazilian FM defends Venezuela's entry into Mercosur
Antonio Patriota insisted that Venezuela's membership in the Common Market of the South has an economic and political importance of "strategic interest" for the bloc
Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota on Wednesday once again advocated the entry of Venezuela into the Common Market of the South and the suspension of Paraguay from the bloc. He added that such move is intended to send a "clear" message against "anti-democratic adventures."
Patriota appeared today before the Foreign Relations Committee, Brazilian Senate, and replied to criticism from some opposition legislators who rejected the decisions made by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay to suspend Paraguay and allow Venezuela to join the bloc, Efe said.
The minister reiterated that both decisions were taken jointly by the three countries during the recent summit held in the city of Mendoza, Argentina, where they agreed that "Paraguay will only be able to participate (in the bloc) again when the democratic order is fully restored."
On the membership of Venezuela, which only required the approval of the Paraguayan Congress and was accepted after President Fernando Lugo was ousted, Patriota insisted that the move has an economic and political importance of "strategic interest" for Mercosur.
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."