Las differences between President Alberto Fernández and his Uruguayan counterpart, Luis Lacalle Pouregarding the crisis in Venezuela were once again exposed at the LXII Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur, which was held in Misiones, in which it was resolved to advance in the negotiations with the European Union (EU).
When lecturing, Lacalle Pou demanded that his peers from the regional bloc “raise their voices” to condemn the disqualification of Venezuelan opposition member María Corina Machado. “Mercosur has to give a clear signal so that the Venezuelan people can go towards a full democracy, which clearly does not have it,” he demanded.
“Everyone here knows what we think about the Venezuelan regime. You have to try to be objective. It is clear that Venezuela is not going to emerge as a healthy democracy if, when there is a hint of the possibility of elections, a candidate like María Corina Machado, who has enormous potential, is disqualified for political and not legal reasons,” remarked Lavalle Pou. .
Namely, Machadoregistered to participate in the primaries next October in Venezuela, prior to the 2024 presidential elections, was recently disqualified from running for a popularly elected position for 15 years.
He the Uruguayan president thus backed the expressions made earlier by his Paraguayan counterpart, Mario Abdo Benítez, who expressed concern about the situation in Venezuela. “I have always sought to give a voice to the suffering Venezuelan people. And this time will not be the exception. Consistency cannot be left out at the last minute. When a way out appears, an itinerary of hope for holding elections with the opposition, we quickly saw that illusion extinguished with the disqualification of Maria Corina Machado ”, he lamented.
“This is a fact that clashes head-on and scandalously with the clear letter of human rights”completed Abdo Benítez.
President Fernández heard the proposals of the presidents of Uruguay and Paraguay, and He came out to ratify his position: “Venezuela’s problem must be fixed by Venezuelansthrough dialogue between them. Not countries meddling in internal issues of other countries. Yes, guaranteeing, as President Abdo has rightly said, that he is respecting the institutional framework and human rights, but the best way to do it is by recovering the dialogue between Venezuelans ”.
“What has What happened, now, with María Corina Machado is something that we take into account and that we are raising at the dialogue table, which is where we believe it should be raised,” said Fernández after considering the efforts with the United Nations Organization to guarantee dialogue and the validity of human rights in Venezuela.
Fernández then proceeded to hand over the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur to the Brazilian Luiz Inácio “Lula” Da Silva, with whom he promotes the return of Venezuela to the regional bloc. The summit ended with “the commitment to move towards the prompt signing” of the agreement with the EU, which has been negotiated for almost a quarter of a century.
This was stated in a joint communiqué that Uruguay did not sign as a form of protest given the lack of openness of the group to be able to negotiate “autonomously” with third countries.
Fernández and Lula were the ones who raised objections about the agreement with the European bloc. In this context, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have already presented their “counterproposals”, but Brazil is missing, which has asked for more time to present its observations.
Mercosur Summit in Iguazú: what Alberto Fernández said about Lacalle Pou’s criticism
From Puerto Iguazú, Misiones province, the president also asked to have due consideration of disparities in partner countries in reference to the permanent criticism of his counterpart from Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, who claims to accelerate the times of the block and close the agreement with the European countries.
«I am not standing in the isolationist place that some want me to stand. I want to add value to what we produce so that we can be protagonists of the future. Otherwise we will continue perfecting the tremendous inequality that today postpones our peoples,” said the head of state as the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur, which will pass today into the hands of Luis Inacio «Lula» da Silva.
escorted by the chancellor santiago cafiero and the Minister of Economy and pre-candidate for president, Sergio Massathe President asked to specify “a common diagnosis and develop a set of suitable productive and scientific-technological policies” in the face of the new global environment marked by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis and the “commercial battle unleashed by the United States and China”.
«Mercosur is, without a doubt, the most solid integration process that South America has deployed. A union that has prevented the consolidation of antagonistic currents between our interests. We have managed to have permanent interests and it is those interests that we must preserve in favor of our peoples.”stressed after the proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay, Francisco Bustillo to create the Zocosur.
In another passage of the exhibition, he insisted on “strengthening innovation and insertion in international markets of small and medium-sized companies in Mercosur, enhancing their design capabilities and strengthening a regional identity” and remarked that the new environmental demands on the part of of the European Union “present a partial vision of sustainable development» which is focused on the environment, with “zero record of the three dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic and social) and their interaction with each other”.
“Even with all these considerations, Argentina considers that the The agreement between Mercosur and the EU represents an opportunity,” Alberto Fernández remarked, adding: “We believe that the deepening of the link between both regions is an important political action in an international context of conflict and growing uncertainty.”
Finally, the president, before the watchful eye of his peers, stated: “Our commitment to the international commercial insertion of the bloc is unequivocal and goes beyond the European Union. We believe in the importance of geographically diversifying our foreign agenda, seeking partners that offer us real opportunities to increase our exports.”
«Being a member of this bloc strengthens us. Without it, in an international scenario of core countries that make up huge economic blocs, we would be weaker and smaller. Let’s be strong defending our interests. Let’s be architects of our future. ‘Divided we will only be slaves’, warned us San Martín»he concluded.
This is the last Mercosur Summit under the administration of Alberto Fernández and also that of Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez, who attended along with the recently elected president, Santiago Peña. The Bolivian was also present Luis Arce with intentions of entering the block.
In the preview of the meeting, the presidential Sergio Massa together with Cafiero, he starred in a 30-minute exchange with Lula da Silva at the Meliá Hotel.
Source: Buenos Aires Correspondent/Agencia Télam/Noticias Argentinas