Guess who’s joining MERCOSUR!


The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, will ratify on Thursday during the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) Heads of State Summit that Bolivia wants to join the regional bloc.

The Bolivian minister of communications, Amanda Dávila, informed that Morales would travel to Brasilia, Brazil, where the summit will take place, to express his country’s wish to be a full member of the organism. At the moment, Bolivia is an associate state.

“The meeting in Brasilia is very important, because there, president Evo Morales will thank MERCOSUR for its invitation and secondly, that we wish to join [the bloc],” said Dávila, according to the ABI news agency.

The minister said that Bolivia’s intentions of accepting the invitation “does not mean we will abandon other processes of integration, such as that of the CAN [Community of Andean Nations].”

Dávila explained that the Bolivian announcement is the beginning of a process that will take about a year, during which the legislative assemblies and congresses of the MERCOSUR member states will debate approving Bolivia’s official participation.

President Evo Morales announced the decision to accept the invitation to join MERCOSUR two weeks ago.

In a speech he listed the reasons for joining the bloc: MERCOSUR “does not have a free trade agreement with the United States”, and within the bloc “there is a productive complementation, a politics of complementarity, not competitiveness.”

He also emphasized that “MERCOSUR is a market much larger than the Andean Community; the Gross Internal Product of the CAN is $279 million, whereas that of Mercosur is $1.932 billion.”

At present, MERCOSUR consists of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela and Paraguay; the last is suspended as of last June, since the coup d’état against president Fernando Lugo.

Translation mine.

Apparently the formal invitation for Bolivia to join MERCOSUR went out in November. Nobody told me nothin’. I just translate ’em, folks.

But seriously: This is great news. It’s a formal recognition that Bolivia is on the up-and-up. For a large common market like MERCOSUR to consider Bolivia worth including means Evo is doing something right. And sure enough, the Bolivian economy is flourishing. Even without a free-trade agreement with the US, they’re holding their own. And no DEA, either. How ’bout them apples, Gringolandia?

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