Mercosur it is at a political impasse, without Presidency and with three out of five members trying to isolate Venezuela. But even more daunting, Argentina and Brazil seem to be working tirelessly to deprive Mercosur of any political connotation.
Mercosur is at a political impasse. Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay refused to recognize Venezuela presidency of the bloc, based on the failure of the Caracas Government in complying with Mercosur trade tariffs and in protecting human rights. Uruguay, the only member still partially siding with Venezuela, has managed to grant Nicolas Maduro’s executive an extended deadline, 1st December 2016, to comply with the bloc’s requirements. In the meantime, Mercosur is swinging between acephaly and a collegial presidency by the remaining members, and Venezuela is becoming increasingly isolated inside the same organization where, during Hugo Chavez’s Government, it used to have a primary role.
But there is more going on in the Mercosur than bickering over the Presidency.
While many fear that Sanders would turn the US into Venezuela, history, culture and other countries show that this would not be the case.
I can see the fear of Americans when hearing the word socialism; with Venezuela and its collapsing economy in mind, everyone would be terrified at the idea of queuing for hours in front of empty shops, unsuccessfully trying to feed their families, or at the thought of an utterly centralized and iron-fist Government expropriating private companies.
Sanders is not and cannot be another Chavez.
But Sanders is not another Chavez or another Maduro and he would not turn America into Venezuela, even if he wanted to (which he doesn’t): because America and Venezuela have different histories and pasts, and in the USA there will never be the same political conditions that led to the election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. It is a matter of culture, not only politics, and even more importantly of maturity of democracy: America has always been a democratic country, at least in terms of how elections are held, and the legitimacy of the vote is out of discussion. There are no doubts either that a President has to and will leave office at the end of the mandate, or that Chrysler will not become the new state-owned company. Thanks to its history, America can be the watchdog of its politicians, and this is what makes incomprehensible for a foreign observer all these fears about Sanders, who, by the way, is rather a social democrat than a socialist.