On his arrival to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that Venezuela's entry as a full member to the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), will benefit smaller countries that are part of this sub regional union. President Chavez will participate in the summit of Heads of State of Mercosur to be held Tuesday in the Southern country.
"Venezuela is a strong engine for economic and political unity. We ratify our status as associate members of Mercosur and to further advance the process of full members," said the Venezuelan president.
Also, Chavez said that Mercosur is missing many things, one of them is the physical proximity to the Caribbean. "We (Venezuela) opened the chest of the Caribbean at Mercosur, joining the Rio de La Plata (the muddy estuary of the Paraná and Uruguay Rivers, which forms part of the border between Argentina and Uruguay) to the Orinoco (one of the longest rivers in South America at 330 miles. Its drainage basin, covers 340,000 square miles, with 76.3% of it in Venezuela and the remainder in Colombia.)"
Chavez added that Brazil and Venezuela are countries with "intense" businesses, for that reason, he considered that Venezuela can help with the expansion of the economy to other member countries of the Southern Common Market.
"I am the first to raise their hands when asked if Venezuela wants to buy more products and trade with Uruguay. The day that Venezuela could have full membership in Mercosur, Uruguay and Paraguay will be able to sell much more to Venezuela and we have been preparing for this from the structural point of view, "he said.
Also, President Chavez said Venezuela plans to expand refineries, "to provide energy independence and to make us a much larger market for the Uruguayans, Paraguayans, Argentines and Brazilians."
Mercosur is a union that includes a sub regional movement of goods, services and factors of production between countries, the establishment of a common external tariff and the adoption of a common trade policy, coordination of macroeconomic policies between States parties and harmonization of the laws in order to strengthen the integration process.
Mercosur is currently made up of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. On July 4, 2006 the Protocol of Accession of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Mercosur was signed, an instrument through which Venezuela was established as a State Party.
YVKE Mundial / Press-Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / December 20, 2011