Venezuela formally joins Mercosur trading bloc

South American leaders wave as they pose during the official photo shoot at the annual summit of the Mercosur trade bloc in Mendoza, Argentina, June 29, 2012.

Venezuela has become a full member of the Mercosur regional trading bloc following a six-year-long delay.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez is now set to take part in a ceremony in Brasilia, which celebrates Caracas’ membership in the South American trade bloc.

The visit to Brasilia will be Chavez’s first official trip abroad in a year after his being diagnosed with cancer in June 2011 and his treatment process in Cuba.

Mercosur is an economic union and political agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay founded in 1991. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency.  Continue reading

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Paraguay ‘Coup’ has all the ‘Hallmarks of the CIA’

Is the CIA somehow behind or connected to the impeachment – in a trial that took just a few hours – of the president of Paraguay? For Ecuador’s El Telegrafo, columnist Nancy Bravo de Ramsey speaks for many on the Latin American left when she ascribes the removal of office of President Fernando Lugo, a former priest who was trying to resolve a 140-year imbroglio over land reform, to U.S. machinations. In Paraguay, one percent of the population owns 77 percent of the arable land.

For El Telegrafo, Nancy Bravo de Ramsey writes in part:

The powerful country to the north, with the help of the traitors that are always on hand in Latin America, seems to have returned to its old ways. And this time the victim is Paraguay. The events of Saturday, June 23rd have all the hallmarks of the CIA and the pungent odor of a coup d’état, planned and hatched in the Paraguayan parliament.

Without putting any evidence on the table – “because the facts are a matter of public record and there is no need to present them,” they said – without observing due process, leaving only a few hours for the preparation of a defense and without identifying the crimes of the accused, the representatives of the purest elements of the Paraguay oligarchy put an end to a historic presidency that had made possible the greatest ever economic growth of the Guaraní people [the indigenous inhabitants of Paraguay].

Latin America is now in danger. The powerful in the nation to the north have returned to their old endeavor of dominating the peoples of South America. We know that they first tried this in Cuba, but it went very badly for them. Then they had a go at Venezuela, but they weren’t successful there either, although they did triumph in Honduras.

Then they tried to remove Rafael Correa in Ecuador. And today, Evo Morales is suffering a serious revolt from intransigent police. And in Argentina, Cristina Fernández is committed to overcoming a general strike by truck drivers.

(Source: The Moderate Voice)

The Paraguay Coup: Carefully Organized, Assisted by Unidentified Snipers

Deposed president Fernando Lugo

By Nil Nikandrov

Source: Strategic culture foundation

The operation launched by the US Department of State and the CIA with the aim of displacing Paraguay’s first leftist president Fernando Lugo entered the final phase on June 16, when police forces were dispatched to evict squatters from the Morumbí farm in the Curuguaty district, near the Brazilian border. The land holding is known to be owned by Paraguayan businessman and politician Blas Riquelme. Upon arriving to the site, the police unexpectedly came under professional gunfire from rifles with the caliber high enough to drill bulletproof waists. The chief of a special operations police unit (GEO) and his deputy were shot dead, and the police to which instructions had been issued to avoid using force was left with no choice but to return fire. Eleven civilians were mowed down and dozens – wounded as a result.

The bloody incident in Curuguaty immediately drew response from the Paraguayan legislature, with the parliamentarians and senators, mostly representatives of right-centrist parties, charging that president Lugo had lost his grip on the situation and was unable to run the country. Even the Liberal Party which upheld Lugo’s candidacy in the 2008 elections distanced itself from its former protégé. Overall, Lugo faced an impeachment which he described as the parliament’s “express coup”.  Continue reading