April 24, 2006

Crisis in the Andes II

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The Crisis in the Andean Community (CAN) is reaching new hights. It seems that the future of the CAN is imminent disintegration. Last Saturday, Hugo Chavez announced Venezuela was leaving CAN. He argued that the TLC agreement Colombia signed with the US would prevent Venezuela to create new jobs. He also criticized Peru's TLC with the US. On Sunday, Evo Morales publicly asked Chavez to reconsider his decision. To what Chavez answered that he would reconsider if Colombia and Peru would reconsider their agreements with the US. The presidents of Peru and Colombia reacted energically to the comments, which deepened the crisis in that region.

The president of CAN, Allan Wagner, took up a suggestion made by Morales and called for an urgent presidential summit to save CAN. But, at the same time, he energically rejected Morales insinuations that he has worked against Bolivia.

Chronology of the crisis

April 20 - Chavez said, while attending the Asunción summit, that CAN was dead, and that Morales was behind him. Chavez announces that Venezuela was thinking of leaving the block.

April 21 - Allan Wager, CAN's General Secretary, asks for serenity.

April 22 - Hugo Chavez makes his country's withdrawal from CAN official.

April 23 - Morales ligns-up with Chavez and attacks Colombia and Peru's presidents. Additionally, he accuses Wagner of "playing dirty" with Bolivia.

April 24 - Peru and Colombian issue strong answers to Chavez and Morales' comments.

Update 1:

FYI, here is a list of links from Yahoo news to articles about the crisis in the CAN.

Bolivia threatens to pull out of Andean bloc
CNN.com Wed, 26 Apr 2006 11:57 AM PDT
QUITO, Ecuador (Reuters) - -- Bolivia could leave the Andean Community bloc if Peru, Colombia and Ecuador do not shelve free-trade deals with the United States, Economy Minister Luis Arce told Reuters.

Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela to ink People's Trade Treaty
El Universal Wed, 26 Apr 2006 10:42 AM PDT
The governments of Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba next Saturday are initialing in Havana a pact to jump start the People's Trade Treaty (TCP), Bolivian President Evo Morales said, as reported on Wednesday by several Bolivian media.

U.S. Trade Deals Embitter Latin Americans
AP via Yahoo! News Wed, 26 Apr 2006 11:38 AM PDT
With the rise of China and stiff competition from Europe, the United States has been flexing its economic muscle in its own backyard.