AP News

Paraguay votes to deny Venezuela entry to Mercosur


ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Paraguay's Senate has voted by a wide margin to reject the entry of Venezuela into Mercosur.

Senate leader Jorge Oviedo says the vote of 31-to-3 is irrevocable.

Yet Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay have already made Venezuela a member of the trade bloc after Paraguay was suspended following the hasty impeachment of its president Fernando Lugo. And since Paraguay remains suspended, Thursday's vote has no more than symbolic significance for now.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had tried since 2006 to get Paraguay's approval, but his ally Lugo never formally sought a Senate vote he knew he couldn't win.


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