On November 21st, the government of Bolivia was invited by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay to become a full member of Mercosur, a regional trade block in South America. According to the treaty of Asuncion, Mercosur member countries should vote unanimously in order to accept a new member country into its cradle. Bolivia's accession, the same as Venezuela's on July 31st, will not be done in a legitimate manner since Paraguay, a founding member of Mercosur, has been suspended from this block and Asuncion's voice is overlooked. Today, Mercosur resembles more to the Warsaw Defense Treaty of the 1960s, than to the present structure of European Union Trade initiatives. Bolivia will become a full member of Mercosur without the consent of Paraguayan government, La Paz will be entering illegally the organization from the back door.
Paraguay has been unanimously expelled from the other three Mercosur countries in June 29th, 2012, in the Summit of Mendoza, after the rightful and constitutional political impeachment against former President Fernando Lugo, guided by the Paraguayan National Congress, on June 22nd, 2012.
On December 7th Mercosur Summit in Brasilia, Bolivian President Evo Morales, is expected to sign the official acceptance documents in order to seal his country’s full privileges of becoming a regular member of this trade block and further establish a healthy bondage with Hugo Chavez. As La Paz moves closer to Chavez’ Bolivarian ideology, it is crystal clear that Ecuador is the next country in line to become a Mercosur member. Its leader Rafael Correa will be the next in line to sign his country's treaty of accession in this regional block.
In a phone interview with Speronews, Paraguayan Vice President Oscar Denis noted that “the inclusion of Bolivia into Mercosur will further increase the illegal actions taken by all its member nations, with the exception of Paraguay.” He stressed the importance “to act swiftly and establish strong commercial ties between Paraguay and the United States, and explore the possibility of bilateral agreements with other Latin American countries such as Mexico, Peru and Colombia.”
If Bolivia is accepted as a regular member in the upcoming Mercosur Summit of December 7th, without the presence of Paraguay, this will further taint the reputation of Mercosur and these unlawful actions will be a shot in the foot to all its members except Paraguay. It is clear that Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are violating the Treaty of Asuncion and making the same mistake twice in less than six months; beginning with the illegitimate accession of Venezuela into Mercosur and subsequently the forthcoming summit in Brasilia is another analogous violation expected to happen.
Spero columnist Peter M. Tase writes on Latin American diplomatic and trade affairs.