No Mercosur for you, Hugo!

December 21, 2011

Despite pressures from the Government’s of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as Hugo Chavez showing up at the Mercosur Summit, the much ballyhooed “political compromise” to allow Venezuela’s full membership in Mercosur, thankfully did not materialize. The political solution was simply to change the rules so that not all countries had to approve the country’s admission as a full member, bypassing in that way this requirement, which implies every single country is satisfied that the democratic standards are complied with by the country requesting admission.

But Paraguay would not play ball, not the Paraguayan opposition that refuses to approve Venezuela’s entry because they don’t believe the country satisfies the democratic requirements, but that country’s Government, likely fearful of the reaction by the opposition if they are bypassed.

Shame on Dilma Rouseff for backing this proposal. The Brazilian President was a victim of abusive Governments, but seems to feel naively they can not come back in her lifetime to haunt her. I hope she is right, but allowing abuses to continue in one country will simply allow all countries in the region to relax the defense of human rights and this will eventually lead to a backlash against those that allowed it.

Meanwhile, Hugo comes back to Caracas (or direct to Havana for treatment during Christmas?) having lost the battle that he decided to play with a full court press, including his physical presence in Montevideo, where he blamed power and obscure forces for the delay in Venezuela’s entry into Mercosur.

A victory for Paraguay, a small country battling giants, something Chavez would have hailed two decades ago.

A victory for Venezuelans, who at least know that Chavez will have to watch what he does to keep the pretense of democracy.

A loss for the leaders of those countries trying to make the defense of human rights more “flexible” , all “left wing” leaders who now that they have attained power have forgotten their fights when others abused their rights. But they will try it again, if Hugo’s health gives them a chance.

But for now: No Mercosur for you, Hugo!

59 Responses to “No Mercosur for you, Hugo!”

  1. glenn Says:

    here’s a few more tidbits about Venezueal joining Mercosur which are inconsistent with Chavez politics and Chinese investments:

    • An Interested Observer Says:

      Interesting article, and a fun read. The currency exchange issue really caught my attention. Imagine if every multinational operating in Venezuela, Brazil, plus other countries started using the Mercosur rules to repatriate capital to Brazil…where it found its way out and on to the HQ country, wherever that may be. This could really put a LOT of pressure on CADIVI, and on Venezuela’s dollar reserves.

      It’s the kind of thing that seems capable of completely destroying Venezuela’s exchange controls. Be carefule what you wish for, Hugo!

      • CharlesC Says:

        My theory is that MERCOSUR is too good, too fair,too democratic
        and Kirchner and Roussef want to bring in “the corruptor” so the
        whole thing can be totally corrupted..
        All the while they can plunder Venezuela, too…

  2. CharlesC Says:

    Practically every day (or every week) Maru Angarita writes a letter
    and in closing she always says this:
    “Venezuelans need help from world leaders, and the International Court of Justice, to resolve abuse of power in Venezuela and restore democracy.


    Maru Angarita

    She is right. “Venezuelans need help”-and next year if the election is stolen, or
    if Chavez loses and decides not to relent and stays in place- Venezuelans will need help. And -the question is who will help the Venezuelan people?
    Not the OAS not the UN, not Brazil, not MERCOSUR, not Colombia…
    and maybe not the USA. If IF this happens next year what will we do?
    Become like the Cubans, yes. And, while I am ranting-why don’t Venezuelans
    ask themselves the question -IS VENEZUELA REALLY HELPING CUBA?
    No, Chavez is helping keep the dictatorship in place in Cuba-agreed Mr. Kepler?

    • Roy Says:

      As recent events in the Middle-East have shown, the world community helps those who help themselves. I should say that they help those who are portrayed by the press as helping themselves. Venezuelans have to demonstrate that they are willing to do their part.

      With all due respect to the people who own and participate in these blogs, I still haven’t seen any willingness from the general public to do what will be necessary to dislodge this dictatorship. Venezuelans are going to have to earn the respect and sympathy of the world, before anyone is going to stick their necks out for them.

      • Kepler Says:

        Venezuelans have to solve their own problems. Now: has the “world community” stuck their necks for anyone in the Middle East? Where?

        Anyway: as much as Venezuela is going through an autocracy, it is far from the situation in the Middle East with any of those dictators.

        Venezuela is right now more like the situation in Russia, even if Chavismo is destroying the whole economy and Putin’s people are just slowing down growth.

        Will Russians revolt against Putin? They started just now, during the elections, to show their faces.

        • CharlesC Says:

          Like Cubans have solved theirs and Nicaraguans are solving theirs…
          Once this “network of controll is inplace it is almost impossible to break
          free. Of course one can always leave..
          No, Mr. Kepler- it isIS a dictatorship. Not far from Cuba, nor the ME.
          I don’t see asb much comparison with Russia as you do..however,
          I know you are an expert on Russia and your knowledge is a great
          thing. I learn from you all of the time.
          I try to not believe that Venezuelans cannot fix their own problems.

          • Kepler Says:


            There is no democracy in Russia. Still, you can go and say Putin is an autocrat and he should get out of the Kremlin.
            You just don’t get a state job and the state thugs mob you.
            Just like in Venezuela.

            In Russia you can read Novaja Gazeta, which is highly critical of Putin.
            Still: it is very hard to get it on the streets…until now (there is no problem reading it online or watching very critical Internet tv)

            There are things we are worse off, of course: living standards have risen in Russia. Venezuelan military cannot achieve even that in the middle of this oil boom.

            The Arab dictators had at least 30 years in power: in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya. 15 years ago an uprising would have been unimaginable.

            I would say Venezuela is more (and very approximately) a mixture of Russia with Zimbabwe at this stage.

            It’s hard to compare us with all those countries.

  3. captainccs Says:

    >>>Question: can’t the US stop buying Venezuelas’ black gold until Chavez is gone? Or start somewhere with some trade restrictions to punish the crap from this Chavista regime. Much like they’ve done with Cuba for decades.

    No. You can live without sugar, rum, cigars and brothels but not without oil.

  4. It was about time some poorer, latin american nations stood up for their values. Instead of being bullied and bribed by Chabruto’s oil.

    Question: can’t the US stop buying Venezuelas’ black gold until Chavez is gone? Or start somewhere with some trade restrictions to punish the crap from this Chavista regime. Much like they’ve done with Cuba for decades.The hypocrisy in international politics is beyond outrageous. At least Mercosur had some class this time around.

    • Kepler Says:

      Richer nations don’t stand by their values either. If that were so, Belgium and Germany and the US and France and Switzerland etc wouldn’t be sleeping with their Devil all the time. Ever heard of Saudi Arabia? The role of the wahabists from there in terrorist activities? Ever heard of Kazakhstan? Do you have an idea about how human rights are there compared to Venezuela’s? So: let’s not believe in fairy tales from any one nation. All are just thinking for the money, short or middle term. They only talk about ethics and freedom and democracy when money talks to them or there’s a scandal too big to ignore (like the Kurds gased by the US’s former ally Saddan Hussein or the corruption affairs by Belgians’ former pal Mobutu etc etc

      • CharlesC Says:

        Interesting you should mention Kazakhstan. Have you ever stopped and compared the situation with Venezuela. Kazakhstan you say are so bad on
        human rights- actually I think they are doing very well, absolutely great esp.
        compared to Venezuela. Do you really know anything about Kazakhstan?
        Or the economy of Kazakhstan? How about the people?
        Who is happier?
        I certainly would not say that I believe “fairy tales” about Kazakhstan,
        and I think you missed the mark again .
        Kazakhstan is booming and friendly.

        • Kepler Says:


          I do happen to know about Kazakhstan and its people, some of which I personally know very well. The economy is indeed blooming. The capital is a jewel. Their standard of living is way better now than any time since the USSR collapsed, for most better than before.

          And yet human rights are even worse off than in Venezuela.
          I actually know quite a lot of Kazakhs (it’s easy if you move yourself a bit
          within the Russian-speaking community in Europe).
          I have also taken my time to read AI and Human Rights Watch reports about Kazakhstan. I know, of course, about the situation in Venezuela.

          Russia is another case. They are much better off now than any time before.
          And they are not a democracy.

          The reason US Americans don’t complain about Kazakhstan is because business with them is fine also for US Americans and Nazarbayev is playing the ball with both gringos and Russians. But don’t come to tell me: oh, and human rights are blossoming as well. It’s hypocritical.

          Al pan, pan y al vino, vino. Chavismo is wrecking both economy and human rights, Kazakhstan is only – for the moment – wrecking the latter. But don’t come over and say when Brazil does what it does for its interests that Brazil is unethical but those Western politicians that praise Nazarbayev are not.

          • CharlesC Says:

            Glad to hear that you are so informed about Kazakhs. I like some of the music. and what interesting geography. I am frankly awed with how well
            things are going there.
            a.You don’t see them “interfering with” neighbors.
            b.I don’t think they are spending huge sums on weapons.
            c.They seem to be doing very well in education and arts, agreed?
            d. Tourism is booming.
            e.It is quiet and safe there-agreed?
            I am unawareof human rights issues-for the most part.
            I like all of the things you said -except the “part about being hypocritical
            Seriously, I say -Give them a chance- look at the diverse cultures
            they have to deal with. THey are doing a great job I say
            and things will only get better!!

  5. captainccs Says:

    I find the Nativity scene an ingenious parody of the current Venezuelan political scene, the rebirth of a child-nation, a virgin (in politics) Maria Corina, several king wannabes, and an ass or two. Of course, history tells us that the ruling king will order the slaughter of the new born so as not to endanger his lifelong kingly status.

    All very symbolic and timely. Ugly? When has politics been pretty?

  6. captainccs Says:

    >>>So, I reckon that was ratified by all parties on Earth?

    If not by word, by deed, yes!

  7. captainccs Says:

    “Possession is nine tenths of the law”

    What it means for the Falklands/Malvinas is that the British have it. If the Argentineans want it, they should go and get them and get their ass kick again. I don’t know how many years would make possession into ownership but it does. If not, let’s better give plaza Chacao back to Cacique Chacao. There is historical proof that he was there first.

    • Kepler. Says:

      So, I reckon that was ratified by all parties on Earth?
      Oh, God…I suppose that speaking to English speaking Venezuelans living in the US, many of whom went to the army to fast-track their way to citizenship, is a little bit pointless when trying to explain anything else than the US/UK vision of Earth and the universe.

      • John Barnard Says:

        Maybe we should all go back to africa and leave the continent to the buffalo.

        • captainccs Says:

          >>>Maybe we should all go back to africa and leave the continent to the buffalo.

          That would be extreme! LOL

        • Kepler Says:

          No, but maybe you should start getting used to the fact the US Spanish speaking community will increase much more. History doesn’t stop. No country is forever, not a single one

          • John Barnard Says:

            I personally welcome the fact that there will continue to be an increase in the “US Spanish speaking community.” From my experience, second-generation “US Spanish speaking community” folk assimilate just fine into the US English speaking community. Spanish-speaking immigrants have historically made great contributions to the U.S. and will continue to do so, just as other immigrant communities.

          • HalfEmpty Says:

            That’s true, and the Spanish speakers will be working for the Han. No country is forever, but some last longer than others. My little town was civilized by the Spanish in the 1600s, they made nice with the locals built a decent Mission and raised them all to be good Catholics. Justice and mercy ran thru out the land. One fine day 400 Englishmen (my forebears amongst them) came down from Georgia and burnt the mission, killed the priests and destroyed the fields of the Apalachee. They are gone from history. It took 5 days. We can do it again. It’s how we are. So make your wagers.

            • Kepler Says:


              The Spaniards did the same the English speakers did. Do you think history has just stopped now?
              I am not talking about wars, anyway, but ethnicity is rapidly changing in the States and it will keep doing so ever more, just like absolutely anywhere; If you want to believe in a manifest destiny, well: do by all means.

  8. CharlesC Says:

    Thank you, Paraguay for the “Christmas present”!
    I would say Chavez got 3 strikes this week.
    Kim dying. Obama chastising. Paraguay -TKO!!!!
    Wow! It HAS been a very good week.
    O/T but, any news on Makled? So quiet about
    so many “hot” issues, these days…

  9. bob Taylor Says:

    Falklanders are the inhabitants of the British Falkland Islands. They all voted to stay British despite Argentina wanting them .
    Our dear Hugo ,of course opened his mouth and said he would help Argentina reclaim Las Malvinas !

    • ramon Says:

      He’s a f#%$^& idiot. He can’t even reclaim Zulia! Let him cry to Fidel in Havana for a few days.

      One thing I do not like is the increasing effort of the government to disarm the public. They are trying to stop production and sales to the public. They want the country defenseless this years events to come. Not good.

    • Kepler. Says:

      Argentina wants the Malvinas Islands, not the inhabitants per se. The population number is less than 4000. It is obvious that if any nation invades another part of another nation where there are no inhabitants or throws them away and then then pretends to carry out a referendum, the inhabitants will be on the side of the occupyer.
      Get the same amount of Argentines there and carry out an election.
      The Britons expelled the Argentinan inhabitants (and inhabitants were there) in 1833. Should their descendants be allowed to return? Oh, I know what a lot of English speakers think about law of return.

      A war is pointless, specially against a military power as the US (and it all amounts to that). But the issue of ownership of that territory is just a given for you.

      • CharlesC Says:

        I have relatives in Argentina that have roots very far back. Honestly, noone gave a crap about Malvinas until oil was discovered there and Argentina wanted the oil.
        Suddenly, someone remembered something from 175 + years ago, funny how that happened…
        Mr. Kepler, you certainly open a can of worms, sometimes.
        P.S. “war is pointless, specially against a military power as the US.
        Pure BS and you know it. (I trained the British for 2 years.)
        I don;t think the Brits needed any help then, and I certainly think they don’t need any help now. How about you, Mr. Kepler, keep the US out of it.
        I think Venezuelans need help, don’t you?

        • Kepler. Says:


          I am not for a war, for which Argentina never had a chance. I am just stating the facts.

          It is very much well documented and admited that the US helped massively on that with something that is out there to see: intelligence for every boat, every submarines, every movement of troop. You can check out for instance, Richard Aldrich’s writing on that.
          And YOU should know that if you did have something to do with the military up from some level.

          The British government prior to Thatcher was thinking about some compromise but it got ill-prepared with the Falkland lobby, who got good contacts with the Tories and grilled the prime minister when he came with the motion

          The Britons would have certainly won back then, but at a much higher cost. They were and are overextending themselves. It’s not 1914 anymore.

          Actually: the war started for other reasons. Read ALdrich’s last book, you might find it interesting.

          By the way: why weren’t the Britons training you but you them?

          In any case: what some people see as clear truth, others see otherwise. And frankly: to people who are outside the realm of either side the solution seems less evident than for those parties.

    • Roy Says:


      The Falklands were discovered by the British, settled be the British, and have always been British. Argentina’s claim to the Islands is based on nothing more than general proximity. By the same argument, as made by the Argentine government for sovereignty over this group of islands, the U.S. could claim Cuba.

      As for Argentina fighting the U.S. for them, that won’t happen. The last time, Britain defended them all by herself. They are quite capable of doing so again. The U.S. stood on the sidelines for that one, and most U.S. citizens, including me at the time, were scratching their heads wondering, “What the hell is THAT all about?”

      • captainccs Says:

        People don’t recall that it was the French who first colonized the Falklands and called it ‘Isles Malouines’ where “Malvinas” comes from. From no less:

        The first settlement in the Falkland Islands was established in February 1764 by a French nobleman, Antoine Louise de Bougainville, who named the Islands ‘Isles Malouines’ after St. Malo, the port from which the expedition set out. Bougainville dreamt of founding a new colony for the Acadians who had been expelled from Canada to St. Malo. He chose the Falkland Islands because he believed their remote location would protect the colonists from harassment. His expedition was supported by the French Foreign Secretary, the Duc de Choiseul, after whom Bougainville named Choiseul Sound in East Falkland.

        Should the French claim “Les Isles Malouines” as their own?

        • Kepler Says:

          Cool,…hehe. Y donde buscas tus datos sobre Iraq o Afganistan, Captain? Y sobre Venezuela? Con vtv nada mas?

          • captainccs Says:

            ¿vtv? ¿Quejeso? ¿Una televisora? ¡Hace casi 20 años que no tengo una tele!

            I had a French friend and we talked about the Falklands back during the war. He was the one who told me about the French Connection. 😉

            Nowadays I get my info on the web using Google as my search engine.

      • Kepler Says:

        Roy, that is not correct. I was a child when that happened, and I just stratched my head as well back then. Argentina had no chance of ever winning like that. But: Britain would have paid a much higher price hadn’t it been for US intelligence. I am talking about NSA, among others. They and on second step the French helped a lot. Britain’s own organisations on SIGINT failed on this one big time. Roy, you have been around a bit. You should know by now it is not all about troops on the ground. I wpn’t go into the technicalities here because this is OT. I repeat: I didn’t approve of Argentina’ move then and I am not one moved much by chauvinism of any kindergarten (and for me that is also nationalism), but I am appalled at the way Venezuelans with some contact to the USA turn out to be so incredibly alianated and end up believing all the CoolAid from English sources (that goes from the simplistic view regarding protectionism versus free trade – to the real role of virtually all powers in foreign policy and specially the policies of the US with regards to democracy abroad-.

        • Roy Says:


          After all the time you have known me on this blog, you know I am not that naive. Of course Britain asked for assistance from her number one ally, and of course, the U.S. responded with all manner of SIGINT and other assistance. But, Britain carried the ball on that one, and was not a surrogate of the U.S., as you seem to imply.

          What I don’t understand is how you can see any merit at all in Argentina’s claim to this territory. The British have had a permanent presence there since 1833. The residents of the island consider themselves British citizens and don’t wish to change that status. Doesn’t the principal of self-determination count for anything?

          On the broader issue, you seem to see the U.S. as some sort of Global puppet master, with all of its western allies subordinate to its interests. As attractive (to some) and repellent (to others) as that idea might be, it just isn’t true. It wasn’t true at the height of the Cold War, and it certainly isn’t true today. The U.S.’s influence in the world, while still the single largest and most significant, depends on its network of allies and the interests of all those allies must be accounted for, just as they must take U.S. interests into account.

        • CharlesC Says:

          Dear Mr. Kepler, let it all out, drain the swamp, pal. Take the alligators with you.
          Looking forward, don’t you agree Chavez should keep his mouth shut
          about Falklands?
          For 2012, I suggest you find a quiet moment each day and say to yourself
          “Gringos are my friends.”Why can’t we be friends, Mr. Kepler?
          Did you hear President Obama-“We want to help Venezuela”?
          I think you will agree-Venezuela needs help?

  10. island canuck Says:

    Really stupid photo of the candidates in a Nativity scene:

    LL being molested physically by an old woman in Guanta estado Anzoátegui:
    A lot of humour here:

    • CharlesC Says:

      Where do you find this stuff! I have never seen this happen to a
      candidate in my life-hahaha.
      This is her way of checking out the candidates before she decides
      who she will vote for?

      As to the horrible fake nativity scene. WHy?

  11. island canuck Says:

    I love it. Paraguay gave Chavez the finger.

    It looks good on him.

    Twitter is full of info that his highness went straight to Cuba. Today he again stated that he was completely cured.

  12. I think the Paraguayan opposition and ABC Color, the newspaper in Asuncion, deserve much credit for the battle they have been engaged in. Chavez tried to bribe, to terrorize, o bully….he failed.
    The presidents of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are exposed as trash.

    • m_astera Says:

      “The presidents of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are exposed as trash.”

      Well said.

      • Gene Says:

        Socialist trash! The worst kind, trying to con gullible people with all their rhetoric. They found nothing better to do at the meeting than gang up on the Falklanders. So much for the rhetoric of self determination!

        • captainccs Says:


          Socialism has NEVER been about self determination. It’s rule by an elite with five year plans, and no rights to property. In other words, the socialist state decides everything for you. In China they even decide how many kids you can have. It’s pure EVIL!

        • Kepler. Says:

          Falklanders? What do you mean by “Falklanders”?

          • CharlesC Says:

            What do you call them,Mr. Kepler-” Malvinos”?

            • Kepler. Says:

              What I mean is that the Malvinas conflict precedes the socialists. The right-winged military dictatorship initiated that and it is not surprising that that was what led to their ultimate dismissal as it annoyed the powers that be.
              By the way: if you invade any part of a country and send your nationals there, it is not surprising that those nationals are going to be on your side. The British claim the Malvinas should remain British because the settlers don’t want to be on Argentine side, all 3120 of them. That’s the weirdest defence I have seen. Allow the immigration of 3121 Argentines and carry out a referendum and wonder what result you will have.

              But anyway: this issue doesn’t have to do with any ideology, to be honest.

    • megaescualidus Says:

      Not that I love Dilma, Cristina, nor Jose [Mujica] (actually, pretty much the other way around), but couldn´t anyone say all of them just found a fool (clown, rather) with money and they´re doing the best for their countries (or for themselves)? For the last 13 years it´s been HC who goes around “billete en mano” giving it away with the sole purpose of staying in power as long as possible. There will be plenty of people who will take his money (or oil) “con una sonrisa de oreja a oreja”.

      • Kepler. Says:

        Megaescualidus is right.
        Come on, guys: Nazarbayev is definitely not more democratic than Chávez and yet Sarkozy and Bush and now Obama and so many others are hugging him. He gives them what they want. And he is not even as cheap as Chávez.

  13. Dr. Faustus Says:

    “….or direct to Havana for treatment during Christmas? …”

    I think that is a very perceptive statement. Within a very short period of time Hugo’s health status will be known to the world. It cannot be hidden any longer.

  14. captainccs Says:

    Hugo needs Huggies! LOL

  15. gweh Says:

    they say Hugo was very mad! OT: irrelevant but I want to comment on Maria Conchita and Sean Penn:

    Sean believes Robert Alonso tried to kill Chavez. Paracachitos was real but nobody believed the government. Paracachitos was infiltrated early on by the government and turned into reverse sting snaring many distinguished (and foolish) retired generals. Paracachitos as concieved by Alonso was embezzlement scheme designed to con the operations financiers.

  16. ramon Says:

    I love it for so many reasons…….but love it the most because no matter how much money he has given away to buy his way in……its just little ol Paraguay keeping him out. David and Goliath….it must be eating him up inside.

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