Mercosur Nations Suspend Venezuela and Request an Immediate Political Transition
Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
South American nations are putting pressure on Venezuela because of the authoritarian tendencies of President Nicolas Maduro who rules this country. Hence, Mercosur, a powerful trade bloc in South America, suspended Venezuela after recent political events.
Mercosur nations are increasingly disillusioned by events in Venezuela because Maduro is enhancing his political power at the expense of democracy. This is happening based on diktats, the threat of civil liberty aimed at his opponents, and altering the constitution in order to rubber stamp his authority. Therefore, Mercosur demands that the newly formed Constituent Assembly of Venezuela be dismantled.
Aloysio Nunes, the Foreign Minister of Brazil, after meeting his counterparts from Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay said “We are saying: Stop with this! Enough with the deaths, enough with the repression. It is not possible to inflict such torture on the people.”
All four above nations and other members of Mercosur demand the government of Venezuela to release prisoners and to set in motion a political transition. If not, then Mercosur nations warn that authoritarianism will grow under Maduro, poverty will increase, more deaths will occur, more opposition forces will be arrested, the infrastructure will continue to unravel, and other terrible factors will increase.
Reuters reports, “Mercosur has no provision for expulsion. It had suspended Venezuela temporarily in December for not complying with the bloc’s regulations, and toughened its stance following the controversial election of the constituent assembly on Sunday and the arrest of several opposition leaders.”
Not surprisingly, even when the Mercosur suspension was being declared then more bad news came out of Venezuela. This applies to the removal of Luisa Ortega, a state prosecutor who became a dissident after becoming disillusioned with the government of Maduro. Therefore, the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela is rebuking the demands of Mercosur.
Ortega, in response to the diktats of Maduro and the Constituent Assembly, said “[This is] just a tiny example of what’s coming for everyone that dares to oppose this totalitarian form of ruling.”
Mercosur nations don’t seek to punish the people of Venezuela but instead focus on the authoritarian nature of Maduro. Hence, trade and individuals from Venezuela are welcome throughout the trade bloc.
The BBC reports, “Despite being oil-rich, Venezuela is experiencing severe shortages of food and medicines, as well as inflation in excess of 700%. Violent demonstrations since April have left more than 100 people dead.”
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