Venezuelan Foreign Ministry denounces Mercosur meeting as illegal

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 27 October 2016 denouncing a Mercosur meeting in Cartagena, Colombia as illegal. According to Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga, the foreign ministers from Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil met on the sidelines of the 25th Ibero-American Summit to analyze the situation in Venezuela and discussed applying Mercosur's democratic clause, the Ushuaia Protocol, against Venezuela (Globovisión). In response, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry stated the meeting was illegal and any results of the meeting would be null and void, as Venezuela is acting as the temporary president of Mercosur, and only Venezuela can convene a meeting of the bloc (Panorama). The four founding members of Mercosur have been jointly carrying out the leadership of the bloc since ruling on 13 September that Venezuela could not serve as president, as it has not adopted all of Mercosur's regulations (Efecto Cocuyo).