Mercosur’s founding states give Venezuela a Dec. 1 deadline

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — The four original members of South America’s Mercosur trading bloc are giving Venezuela a Dec. 1 deadline to comply with its commitments to meet all the group’s standards when it joined in 2012.

A Tuesday statement from the bloc says Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay agreed that Venezuela’s socialist government has to meet its commitments by that date.

The statement gave no details.

But Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga recently said that among the requirements unmet by Venezuela are the protection of human rights and enactment of a law guaranteeing free movement by citizens of the member nations. He also said Venezuela was not allowing opposition groups to protest freely.

Mercosur took in Venezuela as a member in an effort to link the region’s most powerful agricultural and energy markets.