Uruguay Requests to Join SUCRE Regional Currency
Uruguay has officially requested to join the SUCRE currency – a virtual currency used by the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) which allows for transactions between member states without having to use the US dollar. The SUCRE is currently used by Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Although Uruguay is not an official ALBA member state, incorporating the country into ALBA’s monetary system will strengthen Uruguay’s cooperation with the leftist ALBA organization, thereby increasing Latin American inter-regional trade. The country’s interest in cooperation reflects its suboptimal satisfaction with current MERCOSUR membership. By joining the SUCRE currency, Uruguay hopes to further expand its economic potential.
CAN Promotes Border Integration to Improve the Lives of Local Populations
The Andean Community of Nations (CAN) is promoting 3.5 million dollars’ worth of integration projects to improve the lives of populations living along the Andean borders. Four projects are being realized in the CAN countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), with the goals of promoting border integration and bettering the social conditions of the populations living in the respective areas. The initiative in the Bolivian-Peru border is based in the riverbanks in the Titicaca Lake, and aims to improve agricultural production through the proper use of water resources along the shores. It also aims to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between border authorities. The Ecuador-Peru border hosts the project “Intercultural education in contexts of cultural and linguistic diversity” in communities in the Peruvian province of San Ignacio and Zamora Chinchipe in Ecuador. In the Colombia-Ecuador border, the initiative is focused on improving health and environmental conditions in the municipalities of Cumbal and Tulcán. Finally, the fourth project underway in the Colombia-Peru border promotes “practical models of fish production for human consumption and ornamental use” in the development of border integration. All efforts promote and strengthen CAN cooperation and integration, with a focus on improving social conditions for those living within the border areas.
Venezuelan Presidency of MERCOSUR Rejected by Paraguay
Venezuela’s current president, Nicolas Maduro, recently announced that Venezuela will take MERCOSUR’s six month presidency as of next June. However, Paraguay – which was suspended from both MERCOSUR and UNASUR after an impeachment in the Senate occurred last June – publically announced its disapproval of Venezuela as the next chair of the bloc. Paraguay does not recognize Venezuela’s recent incorporation into MERCOSUR, which the Paraguayan foreign minister claims is still violating the original treaties referring to the constitutions of the group. The MERCOSUR charter claims that any new full member must have the unanimous support of all members in order to be incorporated into the bloc. Although Paraguay never endorsed Venezuela’s inclusion, the remaining member states took Paraguay’s suspension from the trading bloc as an opportunity to accept Venezuela’s inclusion.