Leaders of 12 Latin American countries have held a summit in the Brazilian city of Brasilia to discuss a common strategy in a changing world. At the top of the agenda was the call by the Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to create a common currency.
In his opening remarks, President Da Silva urged Latin American leaders to “strengthen the South American identity in monetary policy through better compensation mechanisms and the creation of a shared unit of transaction for trading rather than relying on extra-regional currencies.”
Historically and culturally, economically and commercially, we are one human entity with common needs and hopes. The recent elections in Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay demonstrated the strength of democracy in elections, marked by popular participation and a broad freedom of expression.—Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, President of Brazil
In Lula’s vision, the single currency would apply to the Mercosur trade bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Lula also argued that regional development banks like the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), the Bank of the South, and Brazil’s development bank (BNDES), should do more to finance social and economic development in the region. President de Silva also attempts to revive the regional bloc previously known as the Union of South American Nations or UNASUR. Lula co-founded UNASUR in 2008, which last met in 2014, and ultimately fractured as the region moved to the right.
The meeting underscores the shifting political climate in South America, where there has been a resurgence of leftist political forces after years of mostly conservative rule.
In another development, which heralds the shifting alliances in the region, Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, received a warm welcome from Lula several years after he was banned from entering Brazil by Lula’s right-wing predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.
A new era is opening up in the relations between our countries, between our people, and this new era must include the construction of a new map of cooperation, of joint work that encompasses all areas.—Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela
Venezuela has always been an exceptional partner for Brazil, but because of political contingencies and mistakes, President Maduro has not been in Brazil for eight years, and Brazil has been without Venezuela for a long time.—Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, President of Brazil
Under the Bolsonaro administration, Brazil supported the opposition leader of Venezuela Juan Guaido’s unsuccessful bid to claim Venezuela’s presidency. Furthermore, Colombia’s leftist President, Gustavo Petro, has moved to ease tensions with Venezuela following years of hostility.
Maduro also said his nation wants to be part of the BRICS group of leading emerging nations with Lula saying he would personally favor a bid from Venezuela to join the group.
Peruvian President, Dina Boluarte, is the only absentee.
The Boluarte government has faced growing diplomatic isolation in Latin America over its response to country-wide protests following the ouster of left-wing former president, Pedro Castillo.
This is the first summit of regional leaders since 2014 in Ecuador, at a gathering of UNASUR, a continental bloc launched in 2008 by Lula and Maduro’s mentor, the late Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez.
That was the moment of Latin America so-called ‘pink tide’ of left-wing governments in the region. Some analysts have forecast a new pink tide with the election of Lula, Chile’s Gabriel Boric, and, Colombia’s Gustavo Petro.
After Lula defeated Bolsonaro in a divisive election, he has been overhauling Brazil’s foreign policy, vowing to seek friendly relations across the board, and cultivating closer ties with different partners.
Lula’s government has also touted projects such as the ‘Bi-Oceanic Corridor’, a transport artery which enables the shipment of goods across the continent overland instead of by sea. (PressTV.ir)