Caracas, November 25, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and the High Representative General of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), Florisvaldo Fier, have rejected recent calls by Argentine President-Elect Mauricio Macri to eject Venezuela from the commercial bloc.
Following his electoral victory Sunday, rightwing millionaire Macri reiterated his intention to seek the suspension of Venezuela from MERCOSUR under the bloc’s democratic clause, citing allegations of “abuses” and “persecution” of the country’s opposition.
Jesus Torrealba, leader of the opposition coalition Roundtable of Democratic Unity, announced his support for the comments made by the Argentine president-elect, who has a close relationship with the Venezuelan right.
Macri’s statements, however, met with dismissal on Monday by Fier, who indicated that the democratic clause contained in the 1998 Ushuaia Protocol could only be applied to member states that had undergone an unconstitutional transition, or “democratic rupture”,
In the case of Venezuela, the leading MERCOSUR official noted that no such “democratic rupture” has occurred, adding that any suspension under the bloc’s democratic clause must be approved by consensus.
For his part, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, whose country is an associate member of MERCOSUR, also took aim at the Argentine leader’s remarks, calling them a “clear interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs”.
The Ecuadorian leader went on to affirm that despite the recent victory of Macri in Argentina- the first defeat for a left-leaning government in Latin America in 15 years- “integration will continue”.
Paraguay’s foreign minister, Eladio Loizaga, also took the opportunity to respond to Macri, saying that he would “take note” of the Argentine leader’s proposal though insisting on the stability of Venezuela’s democratic institutions.
“I am convinced that elections will take place in Venezuela within a legal framework, making the most of the general participation of all Venezuelan citizens and respect for the results,” he stated.
Paraguay was temporarily suspended from MERCOSUR in 2012 following the unconstitutional impeachment of then President Fernando Lugo, which the other member states condemned as a parliamentary coup.
Venezuela was confirmed as a full member of the trading bloc in 2012.
MERCOSUR is composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela as full members with Bolivia in the process of joining. Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Suriname, and Colombia are associate members.