Uncertainty in Mercosur due to Venezuelan president's health
Internationalist De Michele noted that the absence of the president causes delays to make decisions in the Common Market of the South
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez would not attend the Summit of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), held on Friday in Brasilia, Brazil. Nonetheless, there is no doubt about the relevance of the meeting considering that Venezuela will be debuting as full member of the bloc.
In the words of internationalist Giovanna De Michele, "President Hugo Chávez's health conditions raise uncertainty in Mercosur. This is fully against the objectives of the bloc."
"When countries integrate, they seek to build certainty in their relation with members of the bloc," the expert remarked. In the case of Mercosur, "The president's condition is an obstacle to accomplish this goal so that the integration mechanism can be fully effective."
"President Chávez situation is confusing and blurry not only for Venezuelans, but also for the whole world, including Mercosur' member countries," De Michele added.
President Chávez returned to Venezuela on Friday after receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Cuba.
On Thursday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro failed to appear in the summit. In his place, Vice-Minister for Latin America and the Caribbean Verónica Guerrero attended the event.
De Michele has pointed out that the absence of Maduro on Thursday and Chávez on Friday results in delays given the fact that Venezuela does not take any actions on domestic or foreign affairs without the president's authorization.
The internationalist also expressed the importance of the discussion of the Free Trade Agreement to be entered into with the European Union. Another item in the agenda is Bolivia and Ecuador's membership in the block. "Venezuela is turning into a serious obstacle to accomplish the objectives of the bloc," she maintained.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.