Paraguay denies crisis in Mercosur over Venezuela

Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga stated on 17 October 2016 there is no crisis in Mercosur over Venezuela. Loizaga reiterated Venezuela is not acting as Mercosur's rotating president, despite statements to the contrary from the Venezuelan government (Globovisión). The Foreign Minister stated in September 2016, the four founding members of Mercosur determined Venezuela could not act as president because the country had not adopted all of Mercosur's rules and noted Venezuela has until 1 December to comply with Mercosur regulations or face possible suspension (La Patilla). Loizaga stated founding members Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil are pushing ahead with negotiations over a trade deal with the European Union (EU) without Venezuela, which is an associate member of Mercosur and was not involved in the initial stages of the trade talks (La Patilla).