Mercosur coordinators meet in Montevideo over Venezuela impasse

Representatives from Mercosur are set to meet in Montevideo on 16 December 2016 to discuss Venezuela's invocation of the Olivos Protocol, a conflict resolution mechanism, as Venezuela refuses to accept its 2 December suspension from the bloc. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez stated on 15 December that Venezuela does not recognize the 14 December handover of the Mercosur rotating presidency to Argentina, and claimed she was physically assaulted upon arrival at the Argentine Foreign Ministry on 14 December to attend a summit to which Venezuela was not invited (Tal Cual). Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa weighed in on the incident and said that entering the Ministry by force was a serious action from a diplomatic perspective (Globovisión). Nin Novoa confirmed Venezuela is suspended from Mercosur and stated Venezuela had four years to incorporate 1,159 Mercosur regulations, but still has 200 rules left to adopt into Venezuelan law (Panorama).