Venezuela Takes on Pro Tempore Presidency of Mercosur

Venezuela assumes the economic trade bloc’s presidency despite several other member states’ objection to the lawful transition.


Caracas, July 1, 2016 ( -Venezuela assumed the pro tempore presidency of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) in Montevideo, Uruguay Friday.  Venezuela’s transition into Mercosur’s highest leadership post comes after several member nations expressed opposition citing concerns over the South American nation’s domestic affairs.

Uruguay confirmed the announcement official at this year’s Mercosur Social Summit. This year’s slogan marked the integrationist bloc’s 25th anniversary building economic ties across the South: “25 Years of Mercosur: More Democracy and Citizenship”.

In light of this year’s theme, Doctor Florisvaldo Fier, highest general representative of Mercosur, added, “There comes a moment, not only in Mercosur and Latin America, where there’s an economic, commercial, political crisis and the summits hold the objective to prioritize integration and guarantee citizen’s social rights.”

One of the workshops slated for Friday’s agenda responding to this theme includes: “How to and Why Defend Regional Integration in the Current Situation” meant to address the region’s ongoing commitment to regional cooperation.

Last week, Uruguay’s Vice-President Raúl Sendic confirmed that there were “no grounds to apply” the so-called “democratic clause” against Venezuela. However, Uruguay cancelled this month’s presidential summit previously slated for July 12th.

In addition, he expressed that Uruguay planned on transitioning the pro tempore presidency to Venezuela despite Paraguay’s request to re-asses Venezuela’s presidency.  Uruguayan Foreign Relations Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa will pass the presidential power to his Venezuelan counterpart Delcy Rodríguez.

Paraguayan foreign minister Eladio Loizaga said his country will not accept such presidency alleging that “we [Paraguay] were not consulted, nor was Brazilian Minister Jose Serra, and I am surprised by Uruguay and Argentina’s attitude because we have excellent communication with both foreign ministries. I was further shocked that I should be informed about the apparent decision reading the media”.

Venezuelan Mayor of the Libertador Municipality of Caracas, Jorge Rodríguez gave declarations to Prensa Latina, stating that it would seem “that the world was upside down because the foreign ministers of these countries come precisely “from governments that staged coups against legitimate presidents.”

Rodríguez added Mercosur “goes beyond trade and economic relations between countries, and looks after the needs of the people to take the majority out of poverty and provide education, health and food for all.”

Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela are the present members composing Mercosur.