Tensions within Mercosur continue ahead of the summit of the heads of state of the block in Asunción, capital of Paraguay. Members of the bloc have not yet been able to reach a consensus on several conflicting issues.
Tensions began after Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou’s announcement to start negotiations with China. Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez called the decision a blow to the organization, as the other member countries were not consulted. Paraguay currently holds the pro tempore presidency of the bloc.
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Paraguayan sources confirmed that Mario Abdo Benítez’s speech would be tough. “What is happening is very clear,” they said. “Uruguay is violating the Treaty of Asunción and wanting to negotiate outside without the consensus of the bloc, and this is breaking the rules of Mercosur and bringing about a rupture.”
The problem for Paraguay is that it does not recognise China and has diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, Paraguayan authorities make it clear that they are not against an agreement between Mercosur and China, but rather that China could pose a condition that they break off relations with Taiwan.
Argentina stresses that Uruguay’s decision to begin talks with China to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) without the participation of Mercosur is worrying because it breaks the few predictable conditions that the bloc offers.
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While Brazilian President Bolsonaro is also making charges against Uruguay, Lacalle Pou is continuing with his agenda. “We have to think about the prosperity of our people. It will be with China and then it will be with other countries,” he stated.
It was in this conflictive context that the meeting of the heads of state of Mercosur took place. This gets added to the frictions surrounding the announcement of a treaty with Singapore and the lack of consensus on Volodymyr Zelensky’s virtual address that ended up being canceled due to lack of consensus. .
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
Misión Verdad is a Venezuelan investigative journalism website with a socialist perspective in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution
Misión Verdad#molongui-disabled-linkMarch 21, 2023
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