Caracas, July 6th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez publicly rebuked her Brazilian counterpart Jose Serra on Tuesday, after he forwarded a motion to have Venezuela’s rotating presidency of MERCOSUR postponed.
Venezuela was set to take over the Common Market of the South’s (MERCOSUR) pro-tempore six month presidency at the beginning this month. But doubts have emerged over whether the South American country will be able to assume the role, after Serra officially requested that Venezuela’s presidency be postponed on behalf of member-state Brazil.
According to Mercosur’s webpage, the acting Brazilian foreign minister officially put forward the petition to have Venezuela’s presidency delayed until August during a meeting with the president of fellow UNASUR member state Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, this past Tuesday.
“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects the insolent and immoral declarations of the de facto Foreign Minister in Brazil,” tweeted Rodriguez.
“In the Federal Republic of Brazil a state coup is being carried out that violates the will of millions of citizens who voted for President @Dilma Rousseff,” she added.
Earlier in May, Brazil’s Senate voted to suspend President Dilma Rousseff from office to face an impeachment trial on budgetary manipulation charges, allowing a new but unelected government, including Serra, to step into her shoes in the interim.
The new Brazilian government’s manoeuvre at Mercosur this Tuesday has been taken as indication that the Michel Temer administration is throwing its weight behind Paraguay, which has also opposed Venezuela’s presidency of the bloc.
Venezuela is currently undergoing an acute economic crisis marked by shortages and soaring inflation, as well as a standoff between its legislative and executive branches. According to Asuncion, the country does not possess the sufficient national conditions, such as peace and security, to take on the role.
However in further comments on her Twitter account, Rodriguez questioned Brazil’s motives for the petition and derided the move as part of an international rightwing campaign against Venezuela’s national government.
“De facto foreign minister @joseserra teams up with the international rightwing’s plot against Venezuela and violates basic principles with regulate internal rules,” she tweeted.
The uproar comes on the back of a heated debate held by the Organization of the American States (OAS) last month over whether to invoke the organisation’s Democratic Charter against Venezuela.
Led by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, the calls to have Venezuela suspended from the regional bloc were rejected by other member-states, however, who vocally backed dialogue between pro-government and opposition forces in the country.
Almagro has since come under fierce criticism for overstepping the boundaries of his role, as well as leading a politically motivated campaign against Venezuela alongside other politicians who are hostile to its leftist government. Paraguay was the only MERCOSUR country to back the OAS head’s initiative.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, also added his voice to the chorus backing negotiations to end the deadlock in Venezuela, urging all politicians “to engage in the national dialogue required to effectively address your country’s problems.”
Kerry made the comments as part of a message to Venezuelans on the 205th anniversary of their official independence from Spain.
“On this special day, I congratulate Venezuelans and hope that the anniversary of your nation’s independence will be a source of pride and inspiration to all… You face many economic challenges that have led to political divisions and severe hardships… However, Venezuelans have shown resilience in the past and we have confidence in your ability to find your way out of the current crisis,” said the secretary of state.