EFEBrasilia

Brazil's president said in an interview with EFE that Venezuela's crisis can only be resolved through elections and warned that the country could lose its conditions for membership in the Mercosur trade bloc if it does not allow them to be held.

Michel Temer said he was deeply concerned for the Venezuelan people and emphasized their country could be ousted from the economic and political union created in 1991 comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Temer remained hopeful that "there will be a peaceful solution very soon with free elections and the full application of democratic principles."

He also said his administration expected that a meeting of Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay would be held shortly to make a decision about Venezuela, which is currently suspended from the bloc.

Within Mercosur, the countries were working "to bring about a political solution," Temer said, adding that "the current situation cannot continue."

He said he agreed with Argentine President Mauricio Macri "that a solution must come quickly" because otherwise Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's administration would not have "the conditions for membership of Mercosur."

Temer also recalled that Brazil had offered to provide humanitarian aid to Venezuela - including a donation of medicine, which is in scarce supply in that recession-hit, leftist-led country - but that "as incredible as it may seem, it was refused."

He said that medicine scarcity, among other things, was responsible for an "avalanche of Venezuelans entering Brazil," mainly into the remote, northwestern Amazon region state of Roraima, which he said had already received thousands of citizens from the neighboring country.

Indeed, that mass influx of Venezuelans to Roraima has been documented by the Human Rights Watch organization, which said in a report published this week that the situation proved the Andean nation's "humanitarian crisis" had extended beyond its borders.

Concerns about the Venezuelan crisis was shared by numerous other countries, including Spain, whose prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, will be received by Temer on Monday at the start of his visit to Brazil.

That issue would certainly be addressed by Rajoy and Temer, who agreed on the need to support all initiatives aimed at resolving the Venezuelan crisis "via the institutional route," Brazil's Foreign Ministry said.