Paraguay’s presidential impeachment puts Venezuela in Mercosur trade bloc

Latin America Update: August 8, 2012                     

Untapped Internal Markets of Venezuela Now Open for Mercosur Countries

Paraguay’s presidential impeachment puts Venezuela in Mercosur trade bloc. Mercosur = Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay (suspended), Uruguay, and now Venezuela.

Strike #1: Paraguay, known as a hub for trafficking of contraband and drugs, has gone through periods of political instability since the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner in 1989. On June 23, 2012, Paraguay’s senate voted to impeach its President and colorful left-wing Catholic Priest for fathering several children.

Strike #2: Paraguay’s Vice-President, Luis Federico Franco, is installed as interim president of Paraguay, a move that is considered an “express coup d’etat” by the members of Mercosur who vote to suspend Paraguay from its membership.

Strike #3: Without Paraguay’s vote, Mercosur moves to confirm Venezuela’s full membership, long opposed by the Paraguayan Senate due to concerns about Chavez’s democratic credentials.

Result : Venezuela is “in” and buying planes from Brazil’s Embraer, and Paraguay is “out” and claiming diplomatic isolation. As the saying goes, 3-strikes and you’re out.

#Update from Jock Chamberlain, President Murcadom Corporation#


Dueling is Still Legal in Paraguay.

Latin America Update: March 14, 2012

However, duels can only take place between two people, the duel must be registered with the authorities, there has to be medical staff on hand, and participants must be registered blood donors.

China Replaces the US as Peru’s Top Export Market

Two years after signing a bi-lateral free trade agreement with Peru, China replaces the United States as the top market for Peruvian exports (led by Mining and Fisheries). The US remains the leader for Peruvian imports, followed closely by China.

Inter-American Development Bank (IBD) Board of Governors to Converge on Montevideo

Murcadom President Jock Chamberlain will be in attendance when the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) holds its annual meeting next week in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, the IDB is made up of 48 shareholders and includes 26 Latin American and Caribbean member states.

United States – Colombia Free Trade Agreement Update

Latin America Update: February 16, 2012

Update on the US-Colombia FTA

While the US-Colombia trade deal was approved by Congress in October, it’s not yet in effect due to a disagreement over Colombia’s compliance with US-imposed labor requirements. US officials report that the FTA should be active within “months.” Key U.S. exports will gain immediate duty-free access including almost all products in these sectors: agriculture and construction equipment, aircraft and parts, auto parts, fertilizers and agro-chemicals, information technology equipment, medical and scientific equipment, and wood.

Mexican Drought Hits Agriculture Hard

The worst drought in 71 years is currently affecting 22 of the 31 Mexican states with a 40% reduction in corn and bean yields, staples of the Mexican diet. Mexico is the United States’ third most important trading partner after Canada and China.

UNASUR to Propose a Fiber Optic Ring for South America at Meeting in Paraguay

The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will discuss a proposal to implement a Fiber Optic Ring to lower the cost of Internet throughout South America. Internet “bandwidth” in South America is three to four time more expensive than in North America. Representatives from the 12 nations of UNASUR meet again on March 9th in Asunción, Paraguay.

Raining Fish in Honduras

 Latin America Update: December 21, 2011

It’s Raining Fish in Honduras

Raining Fish


Legend has it that it rains fish in Honduras. It’s rumored that this phenomenon has been occurring for more than a century on a yearly basis between May and July. Dark clouds appear followed by heavy rain and hundreds of living fish on the ground. Beats paying $27.95 at Red Lobster.

Peru Gets Ready for 2012

Seven (7) free trade agreements signed by Peru with the European Union, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Costa Rica will take effect in 2012.

Paraguay Blocks Venezuela’s Acceptance into Mercosur

Paraguay (pop 6.4M) continues to block Venezuela’s acceptance into Mercosur citing anti-democratic policies of the nation led by Hugo Chavez. Mercosur (Southern Common Market) is an economic and political agreement promoting free trade among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Record Q3 Growth in Colombia

Internal consumption, mining, construction, private & public spending, and foreign investment are responsible for some of the best economic growth data seen in Colombia during the past 4 years.


Exporting to Paraguay


Paraguay Highlighted

Population: 7 Million
Total Imports: $1.6 Billion
US Imports:$8.8 Billion (18%)

Paraguay is located in the middle of South America, close to all main capitals and cities (two hours from Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Montevideo, or Santiago). Paraguay is situated at the confluence of an important river system (Paraguay and Parana Rivers) and in the middle of the Bi-Oceanic Corridor that provides easy access to the major ports and markets in the region.

With three hydroelectric plants, Paraguay is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of hydroelectricity, and has the lowest electricity cost rate in the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR). Paraguay is poised to become an important player in the production of biofuels, in particular sugar-cane based ethanol. Although current production is mostly to satisfy domestic needs, the sector has the capacity and expertise to rapidly expand to meet higher export volumes from new markets.

Market Opportunities

  • Telecommunications Equipment
  • Agriculture Products and Equipment
  • Hydropower Products and Equipment
  • Biofuel Production