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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The controversy about whether or not to allow Venezuela to occupy the temporary presidency of the Mercosur bloc has widened, with the Brazilian foreign relations committee releasing a note rejecting the transfer of power.

“A government that maintains political prisoners, persecutes opponents, disrespects the legislative body and interferes with the judiciary can not preside over Mercosur," Brazilian Senator Ana Amélia Lemos, told government news sources.

According to Senator Lemos, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has given ample demonstrations that he does not govern democratically.

The trade bloc's rules are . . .

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