On a trip to Guyana this Wednesday (28), President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva once again called the massacre of Palestinians carried out by Israel in the Gaza strip “genocide”.

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The head of the Executive spoke during the closing of the 46th Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and also said that Brazil will strengthen its relationship with the Caribbean.

“A genocide in the Gaza Strip affects all of humanity, because it questions our own sense of humanity,” said Lula.

The president also stated that starting military operations “once again confirms the preferential option for military spending, instead of investments in combating hunger in Palestine, Africa, South America or the Caribbean.”


In his speech, the president focused on the need for regional integration. According to him, one of the main routes for integration is the Guyana shield, a relief in this part of South America that includes, in addition to Guyana, Venezuela and Suriname. He also said that Brazil and Caricom are “side by side for fairer global governance”. According to the president, Brazil and the countries in the region have an 80% convergence in votes at the UN Assembly.

Trade with the region was one of the issues raised by Lula. The Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) shows that, in 2022, trade with Central America and the Caribbean reached US$7.3 billion (around R$35 billion). The volume represents a recovery compared to pre-pandemic, but is well below the US$8.9 billion recorded in 2012.

Brazil has a favorable balance in trade with the region. Last year, the country recorded a surplus of US$4.6 billion (R$23 billion), exporting mainly petroleum fuel oils (22%) and unground corn (12%).

Alternative to the USA

According to internationalist and History professor at the Central University of Venezuela, Patrícia Méndez, Lula’s stance is important not only in economic terms, but also politically and brings options for Caribbean countries in the face of United States hegemony in the region.

“Brazil is a South American power par excellence. A regional leader, due to its size in the economy and politics. A global leader who can become a multilateral hub in the face of the US presence, and thus act as a counterweight”, she states.

Lula stated in his speech that during his first two governments (2003 to 2010) Brazil changed the focus of its foreign policy. If relations were previously focused on the United States and Europe, relations with African, Latin American and Caribbean countries gained a different proportion.

For Méndez, this approach has been lost in the last 10 years for different reasons. “Brazil is recovering this role. Lula resumes this stance. People had turned their backs on the Caribbean in recent years for economic reasons, with Dilma Rousseff, or geopolitical ones, with Michel Temer and Jair Bolsonaro. This is important because, for the Caribbean economies, it represents important leadership, with dialogue in the G20 and Brics,” she stated.

Earlier, Lula had a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley. The Brazilian mentioned that there are 27 daily flights from Barbados to the United Kingdom, while there are no direct flights to Brazil.

Still on this tour of the Caribbean, Lula will meet with leaders from both Guyana and Venezuela to try to mediate a diplomatic exit for the contested region of Essequibo.

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho

Source: www.brasildefato.com.br

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