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Integration at two speeds: MERCOSUR and NAFTA, a comparative approach through agencies and objectives

Alberto Manuel Poletti Adorno[1]

The last part of the XX Century marked the beginning of different way of relationships between countries in both South and North America. Governments began to take part more actively into regional integration process and MERCOSUR and NAFTA were born.

In 1991 President Fernando Color de Mello of Brazil, President Carlos Menem of Argentina, President Luis Lacalle Herrera of Uruguay and President Andres Rodriguez of Paraguay signed the Treaty of Asuncion[2] to create a customs union with a common external tariff by December of 1994 that is evolving into a common market.

The US President George Bush, the Mexican President Carlos Salinas and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed the NAFTA Treaty in 1992. It was ratified by the legislatures of the three countries in 1993 and entered force January 1, 1994.

In many sectors of the NAFTA Countries, there was a consensus that, because of the resistances[3], the treaty should only include free movement of goods and services, not of persons[4]. In MERCOSUR governments were mainly worried in economic opportunities in order to find a solution for the unemployment problems[5]. With the aim of stop the controversies of lack of sovereignty, both MERCOSUR and NAFTA countries decided to create intergovernmental organs rather than supra nationality. But both partnerships boarded with different approaches the same situations, as we are going to analyze further.

            The personality of international law

All the persons who work for NAFTA are national of the three states and they don’t occupy a position in the institution as servants of an international body but as civil workers of each country’s section of NAFTA who doesn’t have a headquarter or proper building. Excepting the national delegations of different Conseils, Groups and commitees for the periodical meetings that are held in different countries, people who work in MERCOSUR belong to an international organisation and are mainly considered as diplomatic in foreign countries. They have succeeded an international contest and the number of places are divided for all the countries.

This status is possible since article 34 of the Protocol of Ouro Preto grants legal personality of international law and is able to perform all acts necessary for the realization of its objectives (article 35) and is able to sign headquarters agreements (article 36). These are prerogatives of any international organization, and make possible for this organization to establish in a given country.

            The institutions of NAFTA and MERCOSUR

We should note that even if there are bodies with similar objectives, the architecture of both processes is quite dissimilar.

In NAFTA, the Free Trade Commission, composed of cabinet-level representatives from the three member countries[6], has different duties: supervision of the implementation and further elaboration of the Agreement, helping to resolve disputes arising from and overseing the work of the NAFTA Committees, Working Groups and other subsidiary bodies. There are also three senior trade department officials designated by each country (Coordinators), different commitees and working groups and the NAFTA Secretariat, comprising one Section in Ottawa, Washington DC and Mexico DF. Each national section is responsible for the administration of the dispute settlement provisions of the Agreement. We should also mention the aditional protocols: the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC)[7] and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC)[8] that both have Council composed of the highest-level authorities in the field (cabinet level or equivalent) of the three countries.

We could arrange institutions of MERCOSUR in different ways: decisive and non decisive bodies; political, executive and administrative bodies; with democratic of technical representation. The main agencies of MERCOSUR that are the Common Market Council and the Common Market Group[9].

According to article 3 of the Protocol of Ouro Preto, the Council of the Common Market is the highest body of MERCOSUR, with responsibility for the political leadership of the integration process and for making the decisions necessary to ensure the achievement of the objectives defined by the Treaty of Asuncion and the final establishment of the common market. It is composed by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and the Ministers of the Economy of the States Parties, or their equivalents. Each State states the Presidency of the Council for periods of six months. The order of the Presidency irotates among the States Parties, in alphabetical order. We should mention that the Presidents of the countries meet at least twice a year in a city designated by the country that is in charge of the pro tempore Presidency[10].

The Common Market Group is the executive organ of MERCOSUR. It is composed of four members and four alternates for each country, appointed by their respective governments, who must include representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Ministries of the Economy (or their equivalents) and the Central Banks. It holds ordinary or extraordinary meetings, as often as necessary, normally every three months.

Both Common Market Council and Group enact Decisions[11] and Resolutions[12] binding upon the States Parties.

Other important institutions are the MERCOSUR Trade Commission and by the MERCOSUR Administrative Secretariat and the Parliament located in Montevideo[13].

We can also mention the different meetings of Ministers, the Work groups, specialised meetings and technical reunions in order to analyze one particular aspect of the integration process. They are related to the Common market Council or Group and they met periodically in different countries or in the Administrative Secretary in Montevideo[14].

The Parliament of MERCOSUR is not a tradicional legislative branch. The initial functions were to help the acceleration of the internal procedures in each State member in order to reach a quick entry into force of MERCOSUR norms, help the harmonisation of legislations, analyze the subjects submited by the Council and give recommendations to the institutions of MERCOSUR.

According with the Protocol of Montevideo[15] of December 5th, 2005 it was composed by 18 members of each country elected by direct, universal and secret (article 6). They remain in the seat for four years, even if, during the transitory period the national members of each country for the MERCOSUR Parliament can still be choosen between members of each national Legislature and they could remain in their seats for a longer period, in order to make the elections the same day for all the members on 2014.

One important project is to distribute the seats according to the populations of the countries. Several negotiations are taking place in order to find a consensus and find an equitable solution for the representation of each country considering the differences of size in populations: Brazils has 188.3 millions of inhabitants, Argentina 39.7 millions, Paraguay 6.6 millions and Uruguay 3.3 millions.

We could also mention the different forums and commitees that have no decisive powers and were created in different periods.

The importance of these aspects can not be denied. As in every process that wants to go to the end, we need people who work entirely on it. And is this aspect that lead us to the different objectives and goals of both NAFTA and MERCOSUR, which are not similar.

            The objectives: something else than free trade or common market?

MERCOSUR objectifs are larger than NAFTA. If both at the beginning were focused on the free transit of goods and services, MERCOSUR included production factors. We may remember that Mexico government at the beginning of NAFTA didn’t want to discuss the commerce of oil[16] into the United States that was demanded by the United States in exchange of a migratory settlement[17].

The cross-border movement of persons and workers is not actually a part of NAFTA. MERCOSUR signed many international treaties in order to facilitate (not to allow entirely as in the European Union yet) the displacement of persons. We can mention that the four countries of MERCOSUR ratified the agreement for residency for the four States Parties of MERCOSUR, Bolivia and Chile signed in Brasilia on 2002. Citizens of MERCOSUR countries can travel with the national identity document to each other and do not require passport or Visa if they don’t entend to establish for more than three months there.

Canadian citizens do not require a visa to enter the United States directly from Canada for the purposes of visiting or studying, but they must hold passports and pass the migration controls[18]. US citizens are subject to the same rule. Both Canada and the United States requires Mexican citizens to apply for a visa in order to get access to their countries[19]. Mexico do not require citizens of Canada and the United States to apply for a visa in order to entry in its territorry[20]. There is a NAFTA Visa known as TN (Treaty National) Visa that was created after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 to facilitate the temporary movement of qualified professionals between Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

And we should mention that NAFTA countries are allowed to negotiate and sign Free trade agreements with other countries[21]. The MERCOSUR countries don’t have that right and are forced to negotiate as a entire group. It could happen that a third country wants to sign a treaty with only one of them: this country is not authorised to do so outside MERCOSUR and ALADI[22].

            An important achievement: a mechanism to solve disputes

As in every field of human society, there are problems related to international trade that must be solved quickly and peacefully. Here again, we find interesting difference between our two countries groups.

Under the NAFTA, there are four main dispute resolution processes, named after corresponding chapters of the agreement: Chapter 11 (Investment), Chapter 14 (Financial Services), Chapter 19 (Antidumping and Countervailing Duty final determinations) and Chapter 20 (general dispute settlement procedure). Each system have particularities and allow to create panels fo solve the disputes, with delays that facilitate a quick solution[23].

In MERCOSUR, the system for dispute settlement has been originally settled in the Treaty of Asunción (1991) and was modified in Ouro Preto (1994), Brasilia (2000) and Olivos (2002).

The Treaty of Asuncion provides that disputes between states must be addressed, first, through direct negotiations between the litigants, and subsequently, in successive stages, through action by the Common Market Group or the Common Market Council. Only the States can present cases.

If the countries didn’t reach an agreement, they could ask for an Ad Hoc Panel in order to decide the controverse. In the Protocol of Olivos was created a Permanent Court of Revision (PCR), so the parties may actually choose to fill the complain to the Ad Hoc Panel or to the Permanent Court in Asuncion. It is also possible to ask the Permanent Court to revise under determined circonstances the award of the Ad Hoc Panel.

            With faith in the future?

“For the United States, NAFTA was more about foreign policy than about the domestic economy. Its biggest payoff for the United States has been to institutionalize our southern neighbor’s turn away from centralized protectionism and toward decentralized, democratic capitalism”[24]. It was mentioned that the admission of Mexico in the Canada-United States free trade area was a test case in order to see the possibility of the extension with other countries of Latin America. But today, the association between the countries in North America is more than a free trade aerea[25] since there are other aspects (intellectual property, labor, environment) that are being object of special attention.

In the economic view, the exchanges between the countries had increased and even if all countries have suffered economic crisis, there is not a big voice asking for exit the NAFTA on them.

As to MERCOSUR, voices in the small countries (Paraguay and Uruguay) often requires more attention in order to end up with asymmetries or to end with protection. The President of Uruguay José Mujica when refering to new mechanisms created  in Brazil to protect the car industry and the raise of 30% on tarif trades for imported vehicules recently mentioned “If we are similar to any other country that is not in MERCOSUR, we must reconsider some things”[26]. Today MERCOSUR is not yet a full custom union or a common market.

Contrary to MERCOSUR, NAFTA dispute settlement process allow particulars to ask for an arbitral revision of the commercial claims. It is true that in MERCOSUR the governments can ask the Permanent court of revision to analyze a particular case. We often mention that the government can not pay attention everywhere. Why should one country monopolize the possibility of submiting a case? Is this process in conformity with the right to the access to a Court and open justice that is often mentioned by the governments?

We believe that there are less disapointed voices in NAFTA than in MERCOSUR and we consider that this is probably because of the possibility to ask for help is not entirely in the hands of national administrations but can be used by particulars.

In a moment when there are many doubts about the future of the integration process in MERCOSUR we believe that there must be a new possibility for dispute settlement that will allow not only citizen, but also countries, to adress their complains to an specialized Court that will have the power to improve the integration process.

[1] Docteur en Droit. Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. Lawyer (Paraguayan Bar) and Profesor of Universidad Columbia del Paraguay. Faculty Research Program Award. International Center of Canadian Studies. 2011

[3] Paul KRUGMAN (1993), The Uncomfortable Truth about NAFTA: It’s Foreign Policy, Stupid, Foreign Affairs, Nov. 1993

[4] Björn HETTNE and Edmé DOMÍNGUEZ (1996), In European footsepts: NAFTA as a case or regionalism, in Weine KARLSSON and Axhil MALAWI (editors), Growth, trade and integration in Latin America, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Stockholm, Sweeden, p. 175

[5] Paulo Roberto DE ALMEIDA (1996), Mercosur y Unión europea: de la cooperación a la asociación, in Georges COUFFIGNAL and Germán A. DE LA REZA, Los procesos de integración en América Latina, Institute of Latin American Studies,  University of Stockholm, Sweeden, p. 117

[6] See Annex I

[9] According to article 9 of the Protocol of Ouro Preto, functions of the Council and of the Group are limited, essentially, to administration and to serving as a negotiating forum for MERCOSUR. The Council has the duty “to conduct policy and to take decisions to ensure compliance with the objectives and time limits established for constituting the common market” (Article 10, Treaty of Asunción)

[10] The presidency of the organs in MERCOSUR is rotational.  Each country by turn, will preside for six months the Council and other organs, in accordance with the alphabetical order of the member countries.

[13] The meetings are held in different countries. There are some organs like the Administrative Secretary in Montevideo, the Permanent Court of Revision and the Social Institute in Asuncion and the Institute for Human rights public policies in Buenos Aires created by Decision 14/2009

[14] See Annex II for a complete panorama of the institutions of MERCOSUR

[16] Annex 201.1. The definition of territory includes the subsoil and natural resources of each country that are not part of the NAFTA

[17] Carlos SALINAS DE GORTARI, op. cit.

[21] Besides NAFTA, Canada has signed FTA with: Israel and Chile (1997), Costa Rica (2002), Colombia (2008), Peru, Jordan and the European Union (2009) and Panama (2010). There are negociations with other countries. We should also mention that Canada has signed a Trade and investment cooperation arrangements with MERCOSUR on June 16th, 1998. Source: The United States has free trade agreements in force with other 15 countries. These are: Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Singapore. President Obama signed free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama on October 21, 2011, but the agreements have not been implemented. Mexico has also FTA with Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia (1995), Nicaragua (1998), Chile (1999), the European Union and Israel (2000), El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras (2001), Uruguay (2004), Japan (2005). Available on Internet:

[22] Uruguay and Mexico signed a FTA in 2003. Mexico is part of the ALADI and has signed previously with MERCOSUR countries an Agreement of economic complementation (ACE No 54/2002) in order to establish a FTA with them

[23] Annex 1901.2 § 3 NAFTA and Article 1094 § 14 NAFTA

[24] Daniel GRINSWOLD (2002), NAFTA at 10: An Economic and Foreign Policy Success, Free Trade Bulletin N° 1,

[25] Susanne GRATIUS (2008), Mercosur y NAFTA. Instituciones y mecanismos de decisión en procesos de integración asimétricos, Editorial Vervuert, Spain.

[26] Journal ABC Color, Asuncion, September 23rd 2011.


[1] Journal ABC Color, Asuncion, September 23rd 2011.


Comunicadores del Estado se reunirán esta semana en Atyrá.


Comunicadores del Estado se reunirán esta semana en Atyrá.


El próximo 29 y 30 de noviembre se realizará el cuarto Encuentro de Comunicadores del Estado (ECOE) en la ciudad de Atyrá. El ministro de la SICOM, Gustavo Köhn dará la bienvenida a los participantes y se contará con la presencia de invitados internacionales como Martín Barillas y Peter Tase (EE.UU.).
Además tendrán la palabra el Director Paraguayo de la Itaipú, Franklin Boccia, quien hablará sobre los trabajos realizados por la entidad en la zona; el Viceministro de la SICOM, Carlos Filippi; el Superintendente de comunicación de la Itaipú, Clari Arias, quien tratará sobre “El plan de comunicación a trabajar con el ECOE para difundir responsabilidad social de Itaipú en la región”.
Entre los temas que tratará Peter Tase están: Imagen de Paraguay en los Estados Unidos; Cómo instalar temas públicos en la prensa; técnicas y medios de difusión más empleados por los comunicadores públicos en los Estados Unidos; Cómo se organizan los comunicadores estatales y los comunicadores de medios masivos; entre otros.
Por otro lado, Martín Barillas tratará los siguientes temas: Cómo se organiza la prensa estatal en los Estados Unidos; Cómo se organizan las conferencias de prensa en la Casa Blanca; cómo articulan sus acciones los comunicadores públicos y otros.
El Encuentro de Comunicadores del Estado se viene realizando desde el 2009 bajo la coordinación de la Secretaría de Información y Comunicación para el desarrollo (SICOM) con el fin de fortalecer el plan comunicacional del Estado, el cual tendrá un espacio de debate y de taller para los participantes.
Programa del IV Encuentro del ECOE
Jueves29 de noviembre
Salida frente a la SICOM
Jueves29 de noviembre
Llegada a la casa de retiro Marianela de la ciudad de Atyrá
Preguntas de participantes
Palabras de bienvenida de las autoridAdes de la Secretaría de Información y Comunicación para el Desarrollo (SICOM).
Conferencia de Martín Barillas

  • Cómo se organiza la prensa estatal en los Estados Unidos.
  • Cómo se organizan las conferencias de prensa en la Casa Blanca.
  • Cómo articulan sus acciones los comunicadores públicos.
  • Técnicas y tecnología empleada. Marco jurídico en el cual trabajan.
  • Ejemplos prácticos.
  • La tendencia y actualidad de la comunicación pública en los Estados Unidos. Qué podría replicar Paraguay de este modelo.
Carlos Filippi sobre comunicación institucional, trabajo de oficina y comunicación pública.
 Preguntas respuestas
Taller de evaluación comunicacional del 2012 con SICOM y Medios Públicos.
coffee break
Viernes 30 de diciembre
Presentación de autoevaluación y Análisis FODA
Conferencia de Peter Tase

  • Imagen de Paraguay en los Estados Unidos
  • Cómo instalar temas públicos en la prensa
  • Técnicas y medios de difusión más empleados por los comunicadores públicos en Estados Unidos.
  • Cómo se organizan los comunicadores estatales y los comunicadores de medios masivos.
Conclusiones del Encuentro, evaluación  y entrega de certificados.
coffee break
Retorno a Asunción.



Sociedad (30/11/2012 14:29:00)
Atyra, IP Paraguay.- El Consejero sobre Asuntos Hemisféricos en Estados Unidos, Peter Tase, recomendó mejoramiento la imagen internacional del Paraguay, a fin de aclarar su realidad política y captar el interés de inversionista principalmente en el país del norte.

Albania celebrates 100 years of religious tolerance

Albania celebrates 100 years of religious tolerance

By  Peter M. Tase and Arta Musara

Monday, November 19, 2012

Albania has always been considered a unique example of co-existence in terms of religion and culture. Past records show that independently from historic and political settings, Albanians showed a friendly behavior towards each other’s religious tendency.  The relation of Albanian’s with religion has not been a constant one.

There are some valid questions to answer in today’s Albanian society in order to further understand on what’s happening in a region with a variety of religion and religious communications such as the Balkans.
These matters mainly focus in the risks of the Albanian society to enliven religious conflict due to radicalization; the tendency of religion to integrate itself and the risk of clashes between democratic institutions and religious rule.
Analyzing behavior towards religion and religious behavior in today’s Albania, there are some main features coming out of the Albanian society and its relation to religion.
First, generally Albanians show a pragmatic behavior which is also related to religion. Their ultimate values are more materially oriented then spiritually oriented.
This mainly affects attitudes toward religion, as they influence attitudes of acceptance or rejection based on religious preferences, tendencies or spiritual attraction.
In the second place, it is necessary to emphasize Albanians’ tendency towards homogeneity which is reflected in their main core values as a society. Taking in consideration the variety of norms and values depending on social groups or sub-groups the individual is an essential part of it, when it comes to make generalizations, they tend to act unvaryingly towards religion, faith and diversity.  The salient characteristic of Albania’s long period of the communist regime was the establishment of an equal society in all aspects, including expectations and an equal social class for all, causing tremendous consequences in the burgeoning of social standards and attitude to reinforce “the power of the people” which it turned out be “a responsibility of all.”
In trying to differentiate between instrumental and religious values as well cultural influences on them, even in historic arguments, there has been a distinction between Muslim believers and orthodox or catholic worshipers in their attitudes towards intellectual accomplishments and professional choices. The last two groups have historically been focused on their education and their scholarly work clearly testifies willingness for a greater flexibility and greater engagement in urbanization processes, an attitude which is entirely different from the firmness of Muslim population in the country in relation to the afore mentioned life aspects of Albanian society.
The religious heritage to the majority of Albanian society is less influential in differentiating alternatives and attitudes than the social status’ role. The social groups or subgroups belong to culture, age and profession, etc., represent variables which create a greater homogeneity in core values and cause differences in secondary values and related attitudes. This is a possible explanation of this greater tolerance Albanians show towards diverse cultural, religious and ethnical stereotypes.
Since late September, Albanian Prime Minister, Sali Berisha has chaired various meetings of the national committee in charge of coordinating the 100th anniversary ofAlbania’s independence, scheduled to commence on Nov. 28th, 2012.
Berisha called upon every committee member to improve the communication between government offices while arranging various historical events in which a special importance will be given to religious tolerance in Albania.
November 28th will be a historic date of festivities, not only in Albania but also for every Albanian community in Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo. Albania’s anniversary of statehood will revive the historical successes and blunders of the last 100 years, in addition to salient traditions in Religious coexistence and ecumenism.
According to Berisha,“now is the time to establish more active action teams that would better arrange the celebrations at every Albanian small town.”
The current process of preparations has consisted of many discussions derived from a significant historical legacy, which at times has been constructive and unproductive. Historical facts encourage Albanian people to better reflect and evaluate appropriately historic information that may have currently been altered.
For Mr. Berisha “the noteworthy historical controversies have been debated for a long time and thanks to these discussions [Albanians] have revealed the truth that has been ignored in many levels in the past. Debates in this small country of the Western Balkans are evolving in a constant course, their dynamic influence never ends, but religious tolerance and coexistence will never fade from the nations historical memory”
This is a perfect opportunity for the Albanian society and politicians to recognize Albania’s accomplishments and historic blunders of the past as well as to view the future with new hopes, aspirations and see Albaniabecome a full member of the European Union; a constant aspiration of Albanian politics for more than two decades.
Albania’s European Union Integration process has taken over two decades and the its government is making little progress on the vital electoral reform laws, consolidation of democratic institutions, ensuring theindependence of the court system from political pressure as well as the fight against corruption. Hopes remain high for Albania to join the European family when Tirana has fulfilled the necessary legislative recommendations and reforms.
Peter M. Tase writes for Spero News and Arta Musaraj is the editor in chief of  Academicus International Scientific Magazine.            

Read the article: Albania celebrates 100 years of religious tolerance

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

“Vargje që personifikojnë Kosovën” Nga Peter Tase

 “Vargje që personifikojnë Kosovën 

Për Koha Javore: Peter Tase  Milwaukee, SHBA

 “Vëllimi me poezi “Zjarri në duart e mia” i Remzi Bashës, botuar në Shtetet e Bashkuara të Amerikës, në gjuhën Angleze, është vlerësuar maksimalisht nga Michelle Watson Roscitt, shkrimtare dhe një grua me funksione të larta në sipërmarrje në Washington, D.C..”



  Bota duhet të kujtoj masakrat dhe torturat ndaj popullit Shqiptar në mënyrë që këto veprime djallëzore të mos përsëriten, dhe duke përkujtuar këtë luftë, ne do të nderojmë shqiptarët e shumtë patriot të cilët dhanë jetën e tyre për njerëzit e tyre, për traditat, besimet dhe pa dyshim për atdheun e tyre. Shqiptarët e Kosovës, gjatë met e saj për librin “Zjarri në Duart e Mia” të Remzi Bashës. “Oscar Wilde shkruante: “ Patriotizmi nuk është diçka e përkohshme, shpërthim i tërbuar i emocjoneve, por dedikimi i qendrueshëm dhe i qetë i një jete të tërë.” Lufta në Kosovë ka  mbaruar më shumë se dhjet vjet më parë, por Bota nuk duhet të harroj asnjë herë dhunën e Remzi Basha është njëri prej shkrimtarëve më të njohur në diasporën Shqiptare që aktualisht jeton në Suedi. Me penën e tij poetike, Basha ka mundur të hedh në letër vargje të zjarrta patriotike për mëmëdheun, për trojet e  luftës, janë detyruar të largohen nga vendi i tyre dhe të shpërngulen në trojet Shqiptare dhe nëpër botë, por ata  nuk e kanë humbur identitetin, kulturën, dhe solidaritetin për vendin e tyre. Ata janë masakruar por kurrë nuk janë mposhtur. Ashtu si populli polak, i cili është masakruar dhe dhunuar për shumë gjenerata, edhe ky komb nuk është mposhtur asnjë herë. Polakët u ngritën si një feniks nga hiri i  luftës për të pretenduar trashëgiminë e tyre, vendin dhe atdheun. Këto janë gjithashtu ëndërra, e drejta e ç’do Shqiptari. Sidoqoftë, në mes të kësaj dhimbje zëmre, ka një dritë të jashtë zakonshme shprese dhe premtim që i është ofruar popullit Shqiptar dhë gjithë botës, në formën e fjalëve të bukura dhe të fuqishme të shkrimtarit Shqiptar Kosovar, Remzi Basha. Megjithëse Basha jeton në nje ekzil politik të detyruar, ai ka parë dhe përjetuar krime makabre, ai ka krijuar një botë dëshirash me trupin e poezisë, e cila është aq e mprehtë dhe e gjallë sa dhe dashuria e parë, e paharuar. Poesia e tij shpreh, pasion të fuqishëm, patriotizëm, dashuri, dhimbje dhe trishtim për vendin e tij, Kosovën, Shqipërine. Poezia e Bashës personifikon Kosovën e tij të dashur, si një ndjenjë e gjallë, ndoshta një a afërt shpirtërore edhe pse është shumë largë. Poezia e Remzi Bashës të tërheq në botën e tij të mendimeve dhe emocjoneve, aq sa edhe lexuesi e ndjen patriotizmin e Bashës. Në poezitë e tij nuk ka urrejtje apo  hakmarrje, dashuria dhe pasioni për bashkëkombasit dhe Kosovën e tij janë të lexueshme dhe ndjehen në ç’do momente të dëlira dhe të pastra. Remzi Basha duhet të lexohet nga të gjithë njerëzit që kanë dashur diçka dhe e kanë humbur, dhe nuk kërkojnë hakmarrje, por ofrojnë një fener shprese për të ardhmen e njerëzimit më humanitar.” “Patriotizmi i vërtetë e urren padrejtësine në vendin e tij më shumë se në ç’do vend  tjetër.” Oscar Wilde.  .


 Oscar Wilde shkruante:

Patriotizmi nuk është diçka e përkohshme, shpërthim i tërbuar i emocjoneve, por dedikimi i qendrueshëm dhe i qetë i një jete të tërë.”


Paraguay makes headway in war on drugs


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

By Peter M. Tase

Paraguay makes headway in war on drugsOn November 13, the Paraguayan National Secretariat for the War on Drugs (SENAD),  organized an extensive exhibition of confiscated items as evidence of its recent “Operation Black Eagle.”
According to Paraguayan President Federico Franco: “Today begins officially a new international image of Paraguay and our nation begins the construction of a bright future with an extensive hydroelectric industry and further develop bi-oceanic trade routes,”
Since the beginning of his administration, President Franco has been deeply committed to the war against drugs. The current operation is a major success of his administration; SENAD forces have captured over 25,000 pounds of cocaine, five airplanes, trucks, weapons and nineteen suspects who were members of a local drug trafficking gang.
Paraguay’s current administration has mobilized the armed forces, Ministry of Interior, National Police andSENAD forces, on a full scale war against drug trafficking and organized crime.  The main goal of the current administration is to end drug trade and eliminate drug trafficking routs in the country.
In “Operation Black Eagle” event, was present the director of SENAD Dr. Francisco de Vargas Benítez, who was enthusiastic from the successful operations and attacks against Drug traffickers.  For De Vargas “the greatness of this operation lies not only in the quantity of drugs seized, but in the huge amount of evidence collected in addition to 19 people arrested.”
Observers in Paraguay say that this is a clear evidence that Franco’s government is determined to dismantle international organizations dedicated to drug trafficking.  The suspects recently detained are of various nationalities, including from Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay.
Spero writer Peter M. Tase is an analyst of Latin American affairs.

Paraguay promotes Native American language

Paraguay promotes Native American languagePARAGUAY PROMOTES NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGE

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

By Peter M. Tase

The Guarani language is the only official indigenous tongue in Latin America. It is increasingly spoken in rural Paraguay and is the bearer of Paraguayan culture, folklore and national identity.

Guarani language, or Ava ñe’ê, as it is also known, is the original language of South American countries, used before the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores came to the new continent.

In the recent decades Guaraní language has become less spoken in the major cities of Paraguay, therefore it requires families and society to take some extra measures in securing its daily use at home by youngsters.  For Ramon Silva, a professor and teacher of the Guaranilanguage, “Paraguay is the first country in the hemisphere to recognize a native language and to include it in the constitution of 1967, it is up to us to preserve this inherited important treasure”.

For Prof. Silva, “Guarani, as a highly spoken language was always present in Paraguayan homes, but now young generations learn how to read and write in Guaraní and unfortunately do not practice it daily. In order to secure the language’s survival it should be spoken more frequently.”  If this trend continues then the vocabulary of Guaraní language will shrink and Paraguayan society, sooner or later, will have to gather forces and prevent this language from becoming extinct.

According to official sources, the language is spoken by 90 percent of the population and 60 percent of Paraguayans only speak Guaraní language, whereas 20 percent of Paraguayans, predominantly in the national capital city – Asuncion, only speak Spanish.

On November 8th, the administration of President Federico Franco, celebrated the inauguration of the Academy of Guaraní Language, which will be administered by the State Secretary of Language policy, Dr. Carlos Villagra Marsal.  For Secretary Marsal “language is the moral fiber of a country, and the academy is the responsible institution for ensuring its broadcast, growth and strengthening as a tool of communication among our people.”

For Lino Trinidad Sanabria, there is an arduous task waiting in order to “rescue, preserve and achieve a unified voice towards the grammar and interpretation of phonetics in Guaraní Language; the members’ objective is to produce a dictionary that will differ from the current versions with Spanish translation.”

The Academy is staffed by: Domingo Aguilera Adolfo Jimenez, Feliciano Alcaraz Acosta, Mario Ruben Alvarez Benitez, Milciades Almidio Aquino Arguello, Ruben Bareiro Saguier, David Galeano Olivera Abdon, Maria Georgina González Morán, María Eva Manfeld Aguero, Maria Elvira Martinez de Campos, Julia Irene Segovia de Borba, Ramon Silva, Miguel Angel Sanabria, Lino Verón Trinidad Gomez, Sara Delicia Villagra-Baroux, Thaddeus Zarratea Davalos.

Paraguay: Stevia and economic diversification


By Peter M. Tase

Monday, November 12, 2012

Paraguay, a nation located in the heart of South America, barely makes it in the news despite having a myriad of exciting agricultural products that are exclusively grown and harvested in its fertile soil.  As reported by establishment media in the U.S., most news coming out of Paraguay is sensationalistic and focused on the political transition from the government of former President Fernando Lugo, a leftist aligned with Venezuela’s anti-American Hugo Chavez, rather than its unprecedented economic growth. Part of that growth is due to the export of organic sugar and other sweetening agents such asstevia, which is being found more and more often on the shelves at American supermarkets.
Sandwiched between Ar
gentina and Brazil, Paraguay is currently emerging as an exemplary organic food producer in the region as well as in a worldwide level.  In 2011, Paraguay was the largest exporter of organic sugar to the United States, with a quantity of approximately 35 thousand tons made available exclusively to U.S. consumers and food processing customers and enterprises.  Additionally, in November 2010, Paraguay exported five hundred tons of organic sugar to Belgium alone.   The country’s local economy heavily depends on the production of organic sugar, stevia, soy beans and sesame seed.  Paraguay has become the number one producer in the world of sesame seed. Sesame seed is abundant with B vitamins, various minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassiu
m, copper and selenium.
Another area of significant importance is the untapped mining sector which could attract foreign investments interested in further exploring and processing ilmeniteand titanium ore. If Paraguay’s significant mineral resources could be combined with the country’s agricultural economy, it could be a turning point for diversifying Paraguay’s economy, and turn it into a regional mining leader in mining, even considering that Paraguay has recently encountered stumbling blocks in its trade with its partners in the MERCOSUR regional organization. The mining sector would give more leverage to Paraguay’s economy as well as raise the standard of living.
Stevia rebaudiana
According to well known Paraguayan journalist, Pedro Gómez Silgueira, his country is internationally known as a purveyor of “food for the world.”   This statement is even more accurate today than before, considering that rural Paraguay is known to be the land where Stevia rebaudiana was first discovered in 1899 by a Swiss botanist, Moisés de Santiago Bertoni.
Stevia is a member of the chrysanthemum family, and is native to eastern Paraguay in the Amanbay mountain range and the adjacent Parana State in Brazil. The daily use stevia by the Guarani people, the indigenous population of Paraguay, piquedBertoni’s interest during his first visit to the country in the 1800s. As a result, he published studies in various publications that were very helpful in shedding more light on the native South American communities at the turn of the 20th century.  The Guaraní term for stevia is “Ka’a-he’ẽ” – meaning sweet plant – which is still used to sweeten “yerba mate” Ilex paraguayensis – which is related to holly – that is brewed as a green tea in South America as tonic.
In recent decades, st
evia has become a popular commodity in the developed world thanks to its high nutritional benefits: it is a naturally low calorie sweetener that is bolstered by  hundreds of phito-nutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins and natural fibers. The natural sweet compounds in the stevia leaves are called diterpeneglycosides or steviol glycosides.  Once dissolved and extracted, these natural elements are incredibly sweet, 150 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia tastes sweeter than honey yet it is no more fattening that pure water and safe to use by patients with diabetes.  Stevia is non-toxic and beneficial to people on a low-cal diet, and for those diagnosed with hypo- and hyperglycemia, hypertension. Stevia does not cause dental caries, as does sugar. Stevia has become a healthy choice among other sweeteners, such as cane and beetsugar, aspartames, saccharin, and other synthetics.
Since 2009, Coca-Cola in partnership with Cargill has used stevia sweetener for its low calorie soft drinks which were first introduced in the East Coast and Midwest American markets.  At the same time, Pepsi has also taken some steps towards re-branding its products and come out with drinks that use Splenda or other artificial sweeteners that are substantially incomparable to the health and dietary qualities that stevia has to offer.
Stevia can be u
sed as a sweetener and as an herbal tea for its medicinal effects.  Stevia leaves are 20 to 30 times sweeter than cane sugar.  Stevia causes a significant effect on human taste buds without raising the level of blood sugar.  In addition, it provides zero calories for those on a diet.  The product is available in three forms: in a fresh leaf state, a dark green liquid concentrate, and a fluffy white concentrate powder.
Steviol glycosides a
re heat and pH stable, they do not ferment or darken upon cooking, therefore very useful in an array of foods and beverages.   Even thoughstevia has been  known in Europe and North America for only the last few years, Asian countries such as Japan and Korea have used these ultra refined extracts as a natural sugar substitute for over twenty years in carbonated drinks, fruit juices, health and sport drinks, yogurts, desserts and jellies, as well as snacks, candies, chocolates, pastries, noodles, rice wines, soy sauces, pickled vegetables, cookies and biscuits. Some manufacturers include: Asada, Asahi, Dong A, Kirin, Pokkari, Meiji,Nichirei, Lotte, Samyang, Nissin, Nattori and others.  Today, China grows 85% of the world’s consumption of stevia leaf.
Stevia is widely consumed in many countries of the world, including those in Asia mentioned above, including Australia, Canada and the United States, and the European Union. Consumption of stevia is projected to grow the U.S. – a country where over 25 million of children and adults or over 8 percent of the population is affected by diabetes, including children and youngsters.

Paraguay: Mexico and Colombia show support for new government


By Peter M. Tase

Sunday, November 11, 2012

On November 9th, the Colombian government confirmed its diplomatic presence in Asuncion. Ambassador AlbertoBarrantes, has returned to his post in Paraguay since the democratic political impeachment of the former President, Fernando Lugo, on  June 22nd.
According to Paraguayan Foreign Minister FernándezEstigarriba, this decision taken by Bogota is “a positive unilateral decision” that displays a rift between Colombia and other members of the UNASUR regional organization. With this unilateral action by Colombia, it is unlikely that other UNASUR countries will make the same decision to send their representatives in Asuncion.
Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru withdrew or recalled their ambassadors for consultations following the dismissal of former presidentLugo, a decision that is likely to change only when the new president of Paraguay begins a new term in August 2013.
On the other hand, the Mexican government has demonstrated a leadership role in bringing Paraguay closer to the Pacific Alliance, a regional trade block that was created recently by Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia. Mexican Ambassador Fernando EstradaSamano emphasized the “highly valued the bilateral relations” between Paraguay and Mexico and was open to help President Federico Franco’s government in fulfilling its obligations before the OAS and international Community.




On November 9th, the Colombian government confirmed its diplomatic presence in Asuncion. Ambassador Alberto Barrantes, has returned to his post in Paraguay since the democratic political impeachement of the former President in June 22nd.

According to Paraguayan Foreign Minister Fernández Estigarriba, this decision taken by Bogota is “a positive unilateral decision” that impartially causes a crack between Colombia and all other members nations of UNASUR. With this unilateral action of Colombia, it is unlikely that other UNASUR countries will make the same decision to send their representatives in Asuncion.

Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru withdrew or called their ambassadors for consultations following the dismissal of former president Lugo, a decision that is likely to change only when the new president of Paraguay will begin his term in August 2013.

On the other hand Mexican government has demonstrated a leadership role to bring Paraguay closer with the Pacific Alliance, a regional trade block that is created recently by Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia. Mexican Ambassador, Fernando Estrada Samano, “highly valued the bilateral relations” between Paraguay and Mexico and was open to help President Franco’s government in fulfilling its obligations before the OAS and international Community.