May 25, 2013
Mujica vows to 'fight to the death' for future of Mercosur
As Uruguay and Paraguay continue to express their discomfort with the recent trading blocks applied by Argentina and Brazil within the Mercosur trading bloc, Uruguayan president José Mujica promised to “fight to the death” for the future of the organization.
“Our Mercosur has some contradictions, which we don’t respect much and criticize everyday, but heaven help us if it didn’t exist!” he said in a speech he gave at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Inter-American Development Bank in Montevideo.
“Who would we be selling these little cars we assemble to? We’d be selling them to Germany or the US,” he assured, in reference to the auto assembly lines set up in Uruguay with Chinese funds that dealt with their share of trouble last year due to the new Brazilian trading blocks.
“What would I say to our biggest privately-owned corporation, (dairy company) Conaprole? ‘You have lost Brazil, your biggest market, because we’re now selling to the world’,” he added.
“The Mercosur’s defects are our defects and we will fight them to the death without compromising and without giving up,” he concluded.
Mujica insisted that the Mercosur region has to fight its “pains and sorrows, while negotiating and fighting so its small industries can have a market” to do business.
The Uruguayan head of state also urged for an increase in multilateral collaboration with other member countries in areas such as energy, education and investigation.
Mujica’s statements come in a time in which the Uruguayan opposition, as well as the country’s business leaders, have criticized his government for an alleged lack of response to the new trade blocks applied by Argentina and Brazil.