Venezuela on 2 December 2016 was removed from the South America’s trade group Mercosur over the country’s failure to comply with the pact’s democratic principles and trade bylaws.
Mercosur’s member states, in a letter addressed to Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, stated that the “oil-rich country had been stripped of membership rights immediately and that it will be required to renegotiate its membership.”
On the other hand, the Government of Venezuela stated that it is being unfairly targeted by right-wing regional leaders and that it complies with bylaws.
In 2013, Paraguay has objected to Venezuela's inclusion in the trading bloc. The reason given by Paraguay was that a new member can only be included after a unanimous vote. The country also argued that such a vote should not have been held while Paraguay was suspended.
In August 2016, the presidents of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay met to discuss suspending Venezuela from Mercosur. The three countries were in doubt about regarding Venezuela’s compliance with the union's requirements for full membership. In fact, Venezuela was rejected from assuming the presidency of Mercosur by those three countries.
On 21 November 2016, Eladio Loizaga, Foreign Minister of Paraguay, announced that Venezuela would be suspended in December 2016 after the nation was given a three-month period to reform its laws to abide to Mercosur requirements. Mercosur had noted that "rules governing trade, politics, democracy and human rights" needed to be overhauled in Venezuela.
• Mercosur is a sub-regional bloc.
• Its full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
• Its associate countries are Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Suriname, while the observer countries are New Zealand and Mexico.
• The purpose of the bloc is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people and currency.
• The official languages of the bloc are Spanish, Portuguese and Guarani.
• The motto of the bloc is "Our North is the South."
When: 2 December 2016