The recent illegal ouster of Paraguay from Mercosur and the incorporation of Hugo Chavez's Venezuelan regime into the trade group is the latest in an ongoing and alarming string of victories throughout the hemisphere by the communist-socialist alliance known as the São Paulo Forum.
Venezuela’s Marxist president, Hugo Chavez, will be attending the meeting of Mercosur, the South American Common Market, in Rio de Janeiro, on July 31, for the formal induction of Venezuela into the trade group as a full member. The move is controversial for a number of reasons, not the least being that Chavez’s increasingly dictatorial regime is being granted membership at the same time that Paraguay, a founding member of Mercosur, has been suspended from membership for its impeachment in June of President Fernando Lugo, a revolutionary comrade and protégé of Chavez.
The governments of Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil, all headed by radical-left presidents, joined Venezuela’s Chavez in denouncing the Lugo impeachment as a “coup,” even though the action had been legally carried out by a united Congress, and Paraguay’s Supreme Court had ruled that the process had meticulously hewed to the Constitution’s requirements. Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay are full members of Mercosur, while Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are associate members. Chavez has been trying to get Venezuela into Mercosur for years, but has been blocked from doing so by opposition within the Paraguayan Congress. The Lugo impeachment provided Chavez and his key allies — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica — the pretext they desired to remove the Paraguayan obstacle.
Paraguay’s President Federico Franco, who was constitutionally installed following Lugo’s impeachment, points out that it is Chavez and his Mercosur comrades who have actually engaged in a coup, by illegally suspending Paraguay’s membership and inducting Venezuela in violation of the Mercosur treaty.
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Photo: Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks as he is accompanied by a Brazilian commission at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, July 25, 2012: AP Images