Venezuela has assumed the pro tempore presidency of the regional bloc Mercosur – despite a campaign led by the conservative governments of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina – and Venezuela's foreign minister said they will not be bullied into withdrawing by the right-wing "triple alliance."
Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said her country will not accept the “boycott” carried out by the three member states of the regional trade bloc who are trying to stop Caracas from assuming Mercosur's chairmanship.
“This triple alliance made of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay want to prevent Venezuela to exert its full right to chair the Mercosur, using legal barbarities to fulfill their purpose,” Rodriguez said.
The top diplomat also added that this boycott has the “imperialist seal” of Washington, which she says is committed to an “anti-progressive campaign” in Latin America, referring to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visits to Argentina and Brazil where, in the case of the latter, a right-wing parliamentary coup has removed progressive President Dilma Rousseff.
Uruguay concluded its term at the head of the regional body on July 30, and Venezuela issued a statement saying it had formally assumed the role, hoisting the flag of Mercosur at the Foreign Ministry in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.