The new President of Colombia, President Ivan Duque announced on Monday 27 August that Colombia has started a formal process to withdraw from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). To start the process, a member country needs to send a written notice to the bloc’s headquarters. The Colombian government did this by sending a letter to the Union Headquarters announcing its withdraw.
The President, Ivan Duque, said on Monday: “Today with precise instructions, the foreign minister sent UNASUR the letter where we denounce the constituent treaty of that entity and in six months our withdrawal will be effective.”
Throughout his election campaign, President Duque vowed that once he is in power he will ensure that Colombia leaves the bloc. The bloc started in 2008 as an attempt to counter the US influence in the region and create a harmonious cooperation between the 12-member states. The South American Presidents decided to form their own bloc to oppose the proposal backed by the US for a Free Trade Area in North and South America, also highlighting that the bloc will help the South American countries move towards economic and political union.
President Duque says the reason his country left the bloc was due to the failure of the bloc to deal with the political crisis in Venezuela, he labels the UNASUR as the Maduro’s (President of Venezuela) administration’s ‘greatest accomplice’. In April 2018, 6 of the 12-member countries (; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay) suspended their membership of the bloc for a year, due to the differences in choosing the new secretary general of the bloc, making Colombia the first to finally terminate their membership.
Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Guyana and Suriname are the only states that remain in the bloc.
Additional Reporting: NewsGrid