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25.03.13 Ewan Robertson Sucre

Uruguay has requested to join the regional SUCRE currency, a move that will bring it into greater cooperation with the leftist ALBA alliance of Latin American nations.

The SUCRE is the regional currency used by the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) to allow for international transactions between member states without having to use the US dollar.

In effect since 2010, transactions in the virtual currency are conducted between central banks, while exporters are paid and importers charged in local currency. The system is used by Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Although Uruguay is not a member of the ALBA, Uruguayan foreign minister Luis Almagro submitted a formal request to join the Unitary System of Regional Compensation (SUCRE) while on a visit to Venezuela over the weekend.

Almagro argued that with Uruguay’s entrance into the SUCRE, “The molds of integration keep breaking, which must have an ever more Latin American dimension”.

In a meeting on Saturday between Almagro and Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua, the two countries also signed an agreement for the co-management of joint projects. These projects fall under the Venezuela – Uruguay Bi-National Commission, established in 2005.

In another accord, Venezuela agreed to allow the entrance of Uruguayan, Ecuadorian and Peruvian citizens into its territory bearing only a national identity card.

Venezuela and Uruguay also discussed the upcoming Mercosur summit on 28 June, where Venezuela will take over the pro tempore presidency of the regional trading bloc.

Almagro also took part in an event to commemorate late President Hugo Chavez on Sunday, after which he paid tribute to Chavez’s role in spearheading Latin America’s process of integration.

“We know the work that he contributed, the accumulation of policies in these times and how the positioning and strength of Latin America and South America in the world has consolidated. [We know] how [this role] has served to bring us closer to Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe,” the Uruguayan diplomat said.