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Summit of South American presidents in Brasilia gives Nicolás Maduro a diplomatic boost | International

Summit of South American presidents in Brasilia gives Nicolás Maduro a diplomatic boost |  International

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro’s diplomatic rehabilitation, at least on a regional scale, was equally received by South American heads of state this Tuesday, meeting in Brasilia at an informal summit convened by Luiz Inacio Lula. Da Silva. The purpose of the meeting was not formally to end Chavismo’s isolation, but rather to promote South American integration. Lula, the dean of southern conglomerates with half a century of politics behind him, wants him and his colleagues to put aside their undeniable ideological differences, cooperate more, and find a mechanism to work as a team. Global challenges and local ones. As planned, only Peruvian President Tina Polwarte was missing.

Lula opened the meeting by acknowledging a failure: “In the region, we allow ideologies to divide us and interfere with efforts at integration. We abandoned the means of dialogue and cooperation, and with that, we all lost. For this reason, he encouraged his colleagues to renew their “commitment to South American integration”, noting that “no country can face the current systemic threats alone. They can only be overcome by working together”.

Maduro’s first meeting with 10 other presidents and representatives of Peru was held behind closed doors. Given that the Uruguayan president, conservative Louis LaCalle, intervened at Poe’s summit, it was not as uncritical as the host’s welcome to him on Monday, which he himself broadcast on Instagram. “I was surprised when they spoke [en la cumbre Lula-Maduro de la víspera] What is happening in Venezuela is a story”, he admitted, referring to the words of the Brazilian. The Uruguayan drew attention to some of the high principles included in the final declaration of the meeting of presidents, which was in the negotiation phase: “When we signed, we didn’t have it. [todos los presentes] The Royal Spanish Academy has the same definition of respect for institutions, human rights and democracy.

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Chile’s Gabriel Boric, a leftist, wanted to make it clear that by leaving the conference, welcoming Maduro does not mean supporting repression. “We are happy for Venezuela to return to multilateral events (…), however, this cannot mean sweeping principles that are important to us under the carpet.” Boric also respectfully told Lula in Maduro’s presence that he disagreed with his words that “the human rights situation in Venezuela is a narrative construct.” It is not”, he insisted before returning to Santiago to prepare the debate on the state of the country.

The president and leader of the Brazilian left has been widely criticized in his country — where he won elections with a plan to defend democracy and a section of his press describes Maduro as a dictator — as part of the enemy narrative for defending accusations of authoritarianism or lack of democracy. Lula added to Maduro’s message that the next elections would be free.

Only Colombian Gustavo Pedro spoke to the press upon his arrival in Itamarati. “Latin America must have a unified voice because it has great potential. Many important solutions to humanity’s unified crisis lie in its own territory,” said Pedro, who, true to his former glory, arrived at the glass-enclosed palace of Idamarty, headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, for the last time five months ago. From its windows you can see the heart of Brazilian democracy under violent attack by thousands of Bolsonaros.

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Before Pedro (Colombia), Lula (Brazil), Alberto Fernandez (Argentina), Luis Arce (Bolivia), Gabriel Boric (Chile), Guillermo Laso (Ecuador), Irfan Ali (Guyana) and Mario Abdo have each arrived. Benítez (Paraguay), Cha Santogi (Suriname), Luis Lagalle Bou (Uruguay) and Peru, its Prime Minister Luis Alberto Otorella, represented the ideologically diverse meeting without a female president.

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In a family photo, Venezuela’s Maduro is on the left next to the presidents of Suriname and Guyana. In the center, Lula, Fernandez, Arce, Pedro and Boric.

With far-right Jair Bolsonaro in the presidency, the previous term in which Brazil became an international pariah is gone. Lula does not hide that she wants to revive Unasura, but she wants to listen to her colleagues. It’s not clear that everyone else is on board with that proposal. Although born as an all-South American club 15 years ago amid a wave of left-wing governments, the rightward turn South American voters took in 2018 left more than half apprehensive. Among its members, they formed a club of conservatives, Prosure. It will be about overcoming the phase of institutions that have turned into clubs of friends of the left or the right to organize themselves in the style of the African Union or the European Union.

The meeting had no agenda. The idea is an informal meeting where openness and trust reign. That’s why leaders attend with their principal and a couple of advisors. No entourage. Each participant will give a morning speech. After lunch it will be time for discussion and exchange of ideas.

Lula’s opening speech, in Portuguese and open only to the press, emphasized that “a strong South America, self-confident and politically organized, expands the possibilities to effectively face many challenges.” Whether it’s another epidemic, the climate crisis, inflation, or the effect of the Ukraine war on the price of food or the supply of fertilizers.

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Together they will be the world’s fifth largest economy, the host stressed, favoring regional development banks to finance projects in this way and choosing a monetary mechanism that reduces dependence on the dollar and yuan. (“Additional Regional Currencies”). Among the proposals, even an Erasmus student exchange.

Although South America is one of the world’s most unequal regions, where poverty and violence are entrenched, Lula did not miss the opportunity to remember: “We are a region of peace without weapons of mass destruction, and a diplomatic way of resolving disputes.

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