Venezuela to defend regional unity and integration at Mercosur meeting


Caracas, 20 Mar. AVN.- Mercosur regional trading bloc member states will hold a new meeting, on 25 April, in accordance with the Olivos Protocol, the bloc's mechanism which defines clear parameters for resolving disputes between members.

The information was released on Saturday by Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, who in her Twitter feed said during that meeting, the oil country will continue "demonstrating the fraudulent actions committed against Venezuela."

Since Venezuela took over –last year– for the second time the rotating presidency of the organization, right-wing governments of the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay) have undertaken a campaign to try to delegitimize the country and annul its exercise in the body, which contravenes the rules of the block.

In order to do this, the Triple Alliance has engaged in technical arguments trying to undermine the Bolivarian nation. One of them is that Venezuela has not "internalized" Mercosur regulations. However, the country has complied with 90% of them with greater technical efficiency than other countries that have 25 years in the integration block.

This strategy has a double purpose: to attack Venezuela for supporting socialism as a model for inclusive development and at the same time to weaken Mercosur as a platform for integration of peoples, according to statements of the Venezuela's permanent representative in the block, Jose Felix Rivas, in December last year.

In response, Venezuela began the legal battle calling in December 2016 for a first round of negotiations under the Olivos Protocol. In this regard, Rodriguez said in another Twitter message: "Venezuela demonstrated violations of Mercosur institutional nature and its legitimate rights committed by the Triple Alliance."

"Venezuela stands firm in defending its rights, Mercosur's and peoples'. We are given the legal, political and historical reason," wrote the spokeswoman for Bolivarian diplomacy.

The Venezuelan government has appointed Friday arbitrators to continue negotiations, through the Olivos Protocol, said Venezuela's coordinator to Mercosur, Hector Constant.

"Venezuela wishes to see a solution through peaceful, civilized, law-abiding dialogue, and spares no legal effort in defending Venezuela's rights, Mercosur rights, and the region's, because we believe this affects the region," he said.

Constant added, through statements broadcast on the Twitter account of the Venezuelan Embassy in Uruguay, that Caracas will raise all legal arguments to dismantle arbitrariness and the performance of the Triple Alliance outside the legality of the regional block.

"For as long as we have the right, as we undoubtedly have it in our favor, we are convinced that progress can be made in respect of this legal framework. This new meeting of direct negotiations is a sign that the process is not stagnant, but continues," he said.

The designation of arbitrators for the resolution of disputes is laid down in Article 11 of the Olivos Protocol.

Since Venezuela joined Mercosur in August 2012, has worked to give a social turn to the bloc by incorporating the voice of workers, Afro-descendants and indigenous communities.

20/03/2017 - 11:31 am