Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the United States of undermining the country's efforts to join the South American trade bloc Mercosur(Mercosur).
"Why can't Venezuela enter Mercosur? The order comes from Washington," Chavez said during his weekly television and radio program "Hello President."
Venezuela signed an agreement to join Mercosur over a year ago, but its entry has not been ratified by Brazil and Paraguay.
The United States believes that Chavez sees Mercosur as a way for South American nations to unite against U.S. economic and political influence in the region.
Chavez said Brazilian and Paraguayan lawmakers' delay to vote to ratify Venezuela's Mercosur membership is caused by the U.S. pressure. Meanwhile, he praised Brazilian and Argentine leaders for defying the U.S. attempt to isolate Venezuela.
Chavez had threatened to withdraw its bid if it fails to enter the bloc by September, but he backtracked in his speech, saying that he did not give "an ultimatum."
The Venezuelan president also said he is interested in holding talks with Colombian leftist guerrilla groups to advance an accord to end over four decades of war in Colombia.
Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2007, 19:06