Brazil Senate leader against Venezuela in Mercosur

BRASILIA, (Reuters) – Doubts over Venezuela’s  commitment to democracy and a market economy could hinder its  entry into the South American trade bloc Mercosur, the head of  Brazil’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee said yesterday.

Venezuela has been waiting for nearly four years to enter  the bloc — which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and  Uruguay. But the congresses of Brazil and Paraguay have kept  postponing a vote.

“I’m personally against Venezuela’s entry,” Senator Eduardo  Azeredo, told Reuters, a day after being appointed chairman of  the foreign relations committee.

While Brazil and Paraguay have left-leaning governments  that are friendly with Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo  Chavez, opposition leaders in both countries say his country  does not comply with Mercosur’s democratic principles.

“Venezuela is on its way to becoming a totalitarian regime  — it doesn’t meet the democratic clause and its dedication to  a market economy is in doubt as well,” Azeredo said in an  interview. He said there were also technical problems with  Venezuela’s tariff proposals.

Chavez this week seized a unit of American food giant  Cargill and threatened to take over Venezuela’s largest private  company, after having already nationalized numerous steel, oil,  cement and power companies in recent years.

While President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government  defended Chavez’s referendum victory in February allowing him  to stand for office indefinitely, opposition leaders saw it as  a further concentration of power that undermined democracy.

Chavez, a staunch U.S. critic, has fiercely criticized  Brazil’s Congress for delaying the vote on Venezuela’s Mercosur  entry, saying it was a puppet of Washington.

But Azeredo, of the opposition Brazilian Social Democracy  Party, said he had no intention to rush the vote.

“I’m in no hurry, I have no deadline. We will discuss both  sides of this issue.” While the government had a majority on the committee,  Azeredo said he was unsure how it would vote.

Jose Sarney, head of the Senate, is also critical of  Venezuela’s Mercosur entry but said last month he would not  block or hold up the vote.

Comments  

Maurice Arjoon’s lawyer in bid to levy on NBS

  The legal team for former New Building Society (NBS) manager, Maurice Arjoon, who was wrongfully dismissed, have levied on the bank’s assets in a bid to recoup the $59,033,000 pension owed to him by the financial institution.

Mahaicony farmer who drove car without permission dies in crash

An alleged inebriated farmer of 54 Strath Campbell Village, Mahaicony, ECD, died at about 3 pm  yesterday at Chance Village, Mahaicony, after a vehicle he was reportedly not given permission to drive, crashed into a utility pole.

Quarter-final curse fells Nadal again as Cilic advances

MELBOURNE,  (Reuters) – Rafa Nadal’s Australian Open quarter-final curse struck again on Tuesday, an injury forcing the top seed to retire in the fifth set against Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

Hundreds more sugar workers to be laid off

Several hundred more sugar workers are expected to be laid off from the Skeldon, Rose Hall, and East Demerara estates by next month and the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) yesterday urged that the decision be reviewed.

Order signed for setting up of telecoms agency

The commencement order establishing the Telecommunications Agency was signed last Friday, in anticipation of the liberalisation of the telecoms sector, Minister of Public Tele-communications Cathy Hughes announced yesterday.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×