MERCOSUR President approves Bolivia’s full entry into the bloc

The president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, informed Tuesday that in his capacity as president pro tempore of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) he approved Bolivia’s full entry into the bloc.

“Paraguay has already approved the full entry of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to Mercosur, I hope that soon, in my capacity as president pro tempore of Mercosur, as I have been doing since the first day, as president of the Republic, I will continue working so that soon Bolivia will be a full member of Mercosur,” said the Paraguayan president in his speech during the anniversary commemoration for the cessation of hostilities between Bolivia and Paraguay in the Chaco War of 1932-1935.

Abdo Benítez says it’s necessary to strengthen this bloc which represents 300 million inhabitants and which currently produces food for more than 1.5 billion people around the world.

“This is the time to chart a common destiny and walk together to strengthen the region,” he said.

In July 2021, at the LVIII Ordinary Meeting of the Common Market Council, the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Integration, Benjamín Blanco, reiterated the desire of the Bolivian people to be a full member of the regional bloc.

“Our people seek Latin American integration, for that reason the process of adhesion to Mercosur, will allow the generation of commercial opportunities and to unite our peoples even more,” said Blanco.

Mercosur’s web page now indicates that the Plurinational State of Bolivia in the process of accession.

“The Protocol of Accession of Bolivia to Mercosur was already signed by all the States Parties in 2015 and is now in the process of incorporation by the congresses of the States Parties”, the page reads.

Presidents Arce and Abdo Benítez also signed a joint statement renewing their commitment to peace and fraternity between Paraguay and Bolivia and committing to strengthening their bilateral relationship.

Mercosur currently has five full members: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, though Venezuela has been suspended in 2017, in a political decision made by right-wing governments to try to isolate the country. There’s renewed hope that with more amicable relations between Venezuela and Argentina, and the joining of Bolivia, the bloc may soon consider reincorporating Venezuela.

Additionally, there are seven associated states: Bolivia (in the process of entry), Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Surinam.

By Kawsachun News

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