MERCOSUR: Bloc Could Expel Venezuela, Says Argentina Minister

Business Insider(RTTNews) – Mercosur will permanently expel Venezuela from the bloc if the country’s government advances with its intentions to call for a Constituent Assembly election on July 30, said the Argentinean Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie at the sidelines of the bloc summit in Mendoza.

“Some may read it as an expelling, but at the moment we do not have to discuss if it is a suspension of this or that. We have to talk about the fact that there is no democracy in Venezuela, and we will ratify it if there is no capacity for dialogue,” the chancellor told reporters.

Venezuela was suspended from Mercosur for disrespecting the bloc’s regulations. Earlier, Argentina President Mauricio Macri said that Mercosur is expecting the early adoption of an electoral calendar.

President Nicol?s Maduro’s opponents carried out a 24-hour national strike as a part of the “zero hour” initiative, which seeks the president’s resignation.

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and elsewhere. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, Russia, and even transnational criminal organizations.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform policymakers and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.