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Cablegate: Paraguay Supports Venezuela's Entry Into Mercosur

VZCZCXRO2315
RR RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHGR RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG
RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHCV #0457 0941347
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031347Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0890
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS CARACAS 000457

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG ETRD EINV PA VE
SUBJECT: PARAGUAY SUPPORTS VENEZUELA'S ENTRY INTO MERCOSUR

REF: A. CARACAS 1816

B. BRASILIA 2243
C. CARACAS 2363

1. On April 2, local media reported that Paraguayan Foreign
Minister Ruben Ramirez expressed Paraguay's support for
Venezuela's full membership into the Common Market of the
South (MERCOSUR), during his recent trip to Caracas.
According to ABN, the official BRV news agency, during the
signing of food and energy cooperation agreements April 1,
2007 with BRV Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, Ramirez said
"since Venezuela is an energy power and plays a leading role
in regional issues, it is essential for MERCOSUR to admit
Venezuela as a full member". Ramirez also reportedly stated
that the Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte "is a firm
supporter of Venezuela's MERCOSUR membership".

2. In July 2006, MERCOSUR's member states, Argentina,
Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay signed a protocol to admit
Venezuela as a full member, but Venezuela needs the
legislative bodies of the member states to approve the
protocol. Neither Paraguay's and Brazil's legislative bodies
have approved the protocol. According to Ramirez the
Paraguayan parliament is discussing the issue and the
government of Paraguay is urging approval of Venezuela's
membership.

DUDDY

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