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    Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez | Photo: EFE

The party of former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica has rejected Venezuela's suspension of Mercosur.

Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez has confessed that the reason his government backed Mercosur's resolution to suspend Venezuela last Saturday was rooted in the fear of commercial reprisals.

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“What would happen if Uruguay would have maintained an inflexible position within Mercosur? What if they isolate Uruguay out of Mercosur?” he said in an interview with Busqueda.

“There is no rule that the other countries can use to isolate Uruguay, but from a commercial point of view, they can take various measures that could harm Uruguay. And how many jobs could be lost?” he added. “We did not have any more arguments within the Mercosur to keep supporting Uruguay's position.”

On Saturday, foreign ministers from South American economic bloc Mercosur decided to apply the “democratic clause” to suspend Venezuela from the regional bloc on Saturday. 

The bloc claimed that President Nicolas Maduro was suspended for “breaking the democratic order” after it moved forward with its National Constituent Assembly. The announcement was made during a meeting in Sao Paolo, Brazil to discuss political turmoil between the Venezuelan government and right-wing opposition.

However, former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica's party, the Movement for People's Participation, rejected the measure in a statement issued Wednesday.

The party, part of the progressive governing coalition Broad Front, affirmed its “defense of self-determination, non-interference and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people in this historical crossroads.”

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