Venezuela joins Mercosur
After a six year wait, Venezuela was finally admitted into the South American trading bloc Mercosur (In Spanish, Mercado Común del Sur and in Portuguese, Mercado Comum do Sul) yesterday.
The bloc previously contained four members, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Paraguay had long since blocked the entry of Venezuela into the trading bloc, but it was suspended last month after it replaced its president in an impeachment vote which many described as a political coup.
There are five further associate members and two observers, Mexico and New Zealand. The bloc will now make up 83.2% of South America’s gross domestic product (GDP) and will contain 270 million people according to Reuters.
The El Universal newspaper in Caracas reports President Hugo Chavez as saying:
“I am certain that from today (Tuesday) we enter a new period of accelerated history we are working on: acceleration and changes. Future events will be superior to those of the last decade,” he reasoned within the framework of the extraordinary summit of the regional trade bloc, held at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil.
“We are interested in transforming the national economic model, the so-called rent-seeking model, the oil factory,” he commented after expressing his gratitude to his counterparts of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff; Argentina, Cristina de Kirchner; and Uruguay, Pepe Mujica.”