- Venezuela has been suspended from the Mercosur trade group over its failure to comply with its commitments when it joined the group in 2012.
- Previously the trade bloc had given Venezuela until December 1 to make the legislative changes necessary to come into compliance.
- Venezuela was supposed to have chaired MERCOSUR since September, but had been blocked from doing so by the same member governments that have been pushing for its suspension.
- MERCOSUR announced that the chair will now be occupied by the Argentina.
- MERCOSUR was founded in 1991 and includes five member countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay and, up to now, Venezuela.
- There are also associate members: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
- Since several of its members are the biggest economic players in South America, MERCOSUR is in fact a large scale affair: The combined gross domestic product of the MERCOSUR member states is over $2.8 trillion.
- MERCOSUR has become part of the system of treaties and alliances that further integrate the Latin American area and make the countries less dependent on the United States than they have been in the past.
- It is for this reason that MERCOSUR countries, which were in the late 1990s and early 2000s governed by left-wing governments (namely Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) pushed for the inclusion of Venezuela in the bloc. This was achieved, in spite of opposition from Paraguay’s right wing government, in July of 2012.
- One of the arguments raised by the other states in support of Venezuelan inclusion in the bloc was the strength of the Venezuelan economy, rooted in the country’s fabulous deposits of oil and natural gas.
- There is a change in balance of power within MERCOSUR.
- Right winger Mauricio Macri has won the election, Brazil experienced a coup, and Venezuela has been undergoing severe economic problems. All the newly formed governments are in sharp contrast to their predecessors, by big business interests aligned with transnational monopoly capital, and with United States’ trade and financial interests.
- To deprive MERCOSUR of the weight of Venezuela, with one of the largest reserves of oil and natural gas in the world, is to weaken MERCOSUR and make it and each one of the countries that constitute it more vulnerable to speculative and commercial manipulations by the great powers of the world, especially the United States. MERCOSUR without Venezuela is weaker and not stronger.
Source:BBC $ Wiki