Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mercosur and Venezuela

As of now, Venezuela is still not a full member of Mercosur because that requires approval from both the Brazilian and Paraguayan legislatures. Earlier this year, Lula predicted that Brazil would approve by March 2009, which did not happen. In anticipation of the Mercosur summit, Fernando Lugo is again saying he wants approval, but he doesn't have the necessary votes in the senate. With his paternity claims and now even a traffic ticket, I have to wonder where he's going to get the political capital he needs.

On a side note, way back in July 2007 Hugo Chávez said that if Venezuela didn't get approval within a few months, he would withdraw the candidacy. That didn't happen either.


Gabriel,  10:32 AM  

I like the new look of the blog.

That aside, why should Mercosur appprove Venezuela's membership. Mercosur has a 'democracy' clause and, while it is pretty vague, Venezuela is not, today, as democratic as the rest of the Mercosur nations.

Maybe that should be taken into account?

Greg Weeks 5:19 PM  

I was long in need of a change. As for a democracy clause, I think holding free elections with a universal electorate would be sufficient for any such international clause anywhere. Or at least I cannot think of any that are more restrictive than that.

Gabriel 8:20 PM  

But even that's not fully true in Venezuela. The government has repeatedly abused the power of the state. Just look at what happened with all people that signed up for the recall referendum.

I agree that, technically, Venezuela remains a democracy. But this is less and less true. Mercosur came to be as democracy returned to its members. I think that making sure that they don't accept as a new member a country that is a few steps away from becoming a dictatorship is important. Will Chavez really allow himself to be voted out of office or lose his majority in the National Assembly? That's not an idle question, given how he reacted to the much smaller losses in last year's regional elections.

Despite all the problems the Mercosur countries have, not even Argentina, today probably the one with the weakest institutions, weaker than Paraguay's, would do what Chavez has done to the opposition.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP