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06/08/2012 | The expansion of Mercosur - In by the back door

The Economist Staff

ON JULY 31st Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president, made his first foreign trip since his cancer treatment in Cuba last year. He joined Cristina Fernández, Dilma Rousseff and José Mujica, the presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, in Brasília to celebrate his country’s formal accession to Mercosur, a regional trade block.

 

Mugging with model planes for the cameras, Mr Chávez also signed off on the purchase by Conviasa, Venezuela’s state-owned national airline, of six planes from Brazil’s Embraer. With Venezuela inside, Mercosur would be a “new pole of world power,” said Ms Fernández. “Those who do not grow, perish,” said Mr Mujica. “We have to look for smart ways to bring in new members.”

Bringing Venezuela certainly was smart—in the sense of cunning rather than wise. Venezuela was first invited to join in 2006, but its admission was blocked because the Senate of the fourth member, Paraguay, refused to ratify it. When Mercosur’s other three members decided last month to suspend Paraguay for a year in response to the lightning impeachment and removal of its president in June, that provided an opportunity to ignore the block’s rules, which call for unanimity in admitting new members.

Asked by a Brazilian newspaper, Estado de São Paulo, if Venezuela had taken advantage of a loophole to get in, Mr Chavez replied with a footballing metaphor. “Suppose that in a football match, Pelé gets a red card for a foul. And then Brazil can’t score the goals it needs to win. And someone says: ‘But Pelé wasn’t playing.’ Well, Pelé was suspended. Paraguay is suspended, it’s not currently part of Mercosur.”

For Mr Chávez, his country’s admission to Mercosur is a seal of approval from some of the few foreigners whose opinions interest him. The ceremony also offered a chance to display his physical fitness ahead of Venezuela’s presidential election in October: he insisted on walking up the ramp to the Planalto, though that broke protocol and caused delay as the ceremony was re-choreographed. Brazil and Argentina presumably hope to increase their exports to Venezuela. After years of currency appreciation and rampant cost increases unmatched by improvements in productivity, manufacturers in both countries find it hard to compete in world markets. Venezuela is one of the few economies sufficiently badly run to make their products look like a good deal.

The Economist (Reino Unido)

 


Otras Notas Relacionadas... ( Records 11 to 20 of 87 )
fecha titulo
18/12/2012 Bolivia: entre la Comunidad Andina y Mercosur
11/12/2012 Análisis: Más Mercosur, más diferencias
06/12/2012 La adhesión de Bolivia y Ecuador y la negociación con la UE, en la agenda de la cumbre de Mercosur
30/10/2012 Los territorios que quieren hacer realidad Mercosur
30/08/2012 Paraguay: La diplomacia inercial y el neo marxismo bolivariano
08/08/2012 Mercosur se va al Caribe
07/08/2012 Paraguay: Hermano de Chávez habría ofrecido dinero para entrar a Mercosur
07/08/2012 Latin America - Ecuador negotiation to join Mercosur as full member begin next month
03/08/2012 The winner of Mercosur’s expansion: Brazil
27/07/2012 Escandalosa arbitrariedad en el Mercosur


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17/01/2009|
11/01/2009|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
23/11/2008|
23/11/2008|
16/11/2008|
16/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
22/08/2008|
22/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
24/05/2008|
24/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
29/04/2008|
11/02/2008|
05/01/2008|
09/12/2007|
18/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/09/2007|
26/08/2007|
25/08/2007|
11/07/2007|
16/06/2007|
16/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
24/04/2007|
24/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
28/02/2007|
28/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
17/11/2006|
30/09/2006|
28/07/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
06/03/2006|
21/02/2006|
17/02/2006|
31/01/2006|
10/01/2006|
28/12/2005|
31/10/2005|
26/09/2005|
29/08/2005|
11/08/2005|
08/08/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|

ver + notas
 
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House