Venezuela’s Mercosur Admission a Net Plus for Region

Venezuela’s Mercosur Admission a Net Plus for Region

On Tuesday, Venezuela was formally admitted as the fifth full member of Mercosur, the South American trading bloc that was founded in 1991 by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. While the accession of Venezuela, which has one of the largest proven oil reserves in the world, will improve regional economic integration, it is also likely to deepen divisions among the group’s members.

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told Trend Lines that Venezuela’s admission to Mercosur was long overdue, having been held up in recent years by the Paraguayan legislature for reasons that were also in line with U.S. foreign policy.

“The United States has been pursuing this really destructive, counterproductive policy of trying to keep Venezuela out of Mercosur, and that didn't really make any sense from the point of view of anybody in the region,” he said.

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