Caracas, August 11th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez has accused Argentine President Mauricio Macri of trying to sabotage the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) after he questioned her country’s membership of the regional bloc.
“Mr @MauricioMacri is trying to destroy Mercosur, following the US’ little book which is leading him to commit historic mistakes,” tweeted Rodriguez on Wednesday.
The Twitter retaliation came after Argentina’s Mauricio Macri alleged that Venezuela had failed to complete the necessary procedures to become a full member of the South American organisation during an interview with Reuters, and confirmed that his government would not lend its support to Venezuela’s Mercosur presidency.
Venezuela joined Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay as full members of the regional bloc in 2012 and assumed the six month rotating presidency of the organisation at the end of July.
Its leadership has been at the centre of regional controversy since assuming the role, however, after Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina refused to grant their backing. They cite Venezuela’s alleged failure to comply with several aspects of the Asuncion Treaty, and political unrest in the country as their reasons for withholding their support.
Nonetheless, Venezuela maintains that it continues to exercise the acting presidency of Mercosur and claims that it is the victim of an international campaign against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The left leaning president has become increasingly isolated in the bloc since a slew of rightwing governments recently took power in other member-state countries.
“Venezuela, in respect of the law and currently fully exercising the full pro-tempore presidency of Mercosur will now allow its destruction!!!” said Rodriguez in a further Tweet.
According to Mercosur news agency Mercopress, Paraguay Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga said Venezuela had until Friday August 12th to “show it has complied with the conditions to enjoy full membership of Mercosur status,” which includes a tariff requirement and a human rights standard. The agency reported the country still had to incorporate 400 norms and 50 accords in order to finalise its membership.
Member states are due to convene on August 23rd to discuss the issue of Venezuela’s leadership, after a meeting tabled for August 4th was cancelled.
Venezuela’s Mercosur presidency has received support from Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa, the Uruguayan government and the Brazilian Senate, which has publicly backed the country as full member of the bloc. The declaration goes against interim Brazilian President, Michel Temer, who has been accused of taking power through a parliamentary coup against President Dilma Rousseff earlier in May.
Caracas cites the lack of repercussions against the Temer presidency in Mercosur as proof of the campaign against the Maduro government.