Published On: Tue, Jul 29th, 2014

Mercosur summit begins, Paraguay questions Guyana and Suriname association

SONY DSCCARACAS, Venezuela -- "The Paraguayan government will present its objections on six of the 183 resolutions adopted by the Mercosur during its absence from the bloc," said deputy foreign minister Federico González on Monday, after participating in the farewell ceremony of President Horacio Cartes, who left for Caracas to attend the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) summit, which was due to begin on Tuesday.

One of these resolutions includes the associate membership of Bolivia, Guyana and Suriname in the Mercosur group.

The deputy foreign minister said at a press conference, "In principle we don’t accept any decision made in the absence of Paraguay in the body," referring to the suspension ordered by the presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay on June 28, 2012, for the impeachment by the country’s senate of then president Fernando Lugo. Paraguay’s suspension was lifted in 2014 at the Paramaribo summit.

One of the disputed points is the addition of new members to the bloc. In referring to Bolivia’s association with Merosur, Gonzalez said that Bolivia is a brotherly neighbour that has many links with Asuncion; however, he questioned Bolivia, Guyana and Suriname’s association with the bloc.

He said, “This protocol was adopted in our absence and therefore, we have to see how legal and valid this association is. The same situation with Guyana and Suriname,” he said.

Participants at the Mercosur summit are expected to sign documents establishing a new economic zone that includes the member states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Mercosur and Petrocaribe, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said.

By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor

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