Venezuela appreciates support from the Brazilian Senate on pro-tempore presidency of Mercosur

Hace 2 años.

The Committee on Economic Affairs of the Federal Senate of Brazil, manifested this Friday its support for the pro-tempore presidency of Venezuela in the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR).

In a statement, they rejected the attitude taken by the interim government of Brazil, led by Michel Temer, who have expressed their refusal for Venezuela to assume the presidency of the regional organization, alleging internal conflicts.
Following is the full text:


Communiqué of the Presidency of the Committee on Economic Affairs (CAE) of the Federal Senate on the Presidency of Venezuela in the Mercosur

The Chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs of the Federal Senate disagrees with the position of the interim government of Brazil, which decided not to acknowledge the pro-tempore presidency of Venezuela in Mercosur.

Both the Treaty of Asuncion, a founding instrument of the bloc, as well as the Ouro Preto Protocol established, unequivocally, state that the pro-tempore presidency of Mercosur would alternate every six months, in alphabetical order, among the States Parties.

Such a rule, freely agreed between bloc members and approved by the National Congress of Brazil, is self-administered and automatic, therefore, regardless of any decision or additional validation.

In addition, the business relationship with Venezuela is very beneficial to Brazil. Between 2003 and 2012, our exports to that country rose from only US $ 608 million to US $ 5 billion. In that period, Venezuela provided a cumulative trade surplus of US $ 29 billion. We export to there, from food up to sophisticated manufactured goods. Venezuela is also vital for the development of our northern Amazon frontier, and plays a key role in supplying electricity to our states of the Northern Region.

The decision of the Brazilian interim government frontally contradicts the main legal instruments of Mercosur. Venezuela is a State Party, with full enjoyment of their prerogatives, and is not subject to any penalties, within the block. The reasons given for the failure of the legal standard of Mercosur have no technical basis. The allegation that Venezuela cannot assume the presidency, because it has failed to comply with all the rules of Mercosur under the Protocol of Accession, is entirely inappropriate. No State Party of Mercosur, including Brazil, fully complies with the bloc’s normative. Our country has not ratified several protocols and agreements signed within the context of the bloc and, like all other members, does not apply the Common External Tariff (TEC) in all its breadth.

In relation to the internal conflicts in Venezuela, which we recognize as serious, it does not seem to us that may serve as a reason for this undemocratic decision. The relationship with Venezuela is strategic for Brazil and cannot be weakened by political and ideological preconceptions, which do not fit in a responsible foreign policy. The internal conflicts of Venezuela can be resolved through dialogue and cooperation, not with authoritarian and anti-juridical measures, which would inexorably tend to worsen the existing problems. Respect for the rules and democratic institutions is always the best bet, both within Mercosur as in the domestic sphere of States Parties.

Senator Gleisi Hoffmann
Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic Affairs