Published 07/19/2023 15:10 | Edited 7/19/2023 5:19 PM
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made a stop this Wednesday (19), in Cape Verde, and met with the president of the country, José Maria Neves. It was Lula’s first appointment in Africa in this third presidential term.
On his return from his trip to Belgium, the Brazilian president scheduled a visit to the country, an archipelago off the African coast that, like Brazil and seven other countries, is part of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
This year, the group will have a summit of heads of state and government to be held in São Tomé and Príncipe. Lula said that she will participate in the meeting.
Lula and Neves made a statement after the meeting. “I want to hold many meetings (…) so that we can define how Brazil can help the African continent the most. Brazil has returned to the world and Brazil has returned to contribute to the development of friendly countries”, he guaranteed.
Brazil is back
The Brazilian once again stated that, upon his return to the government, he intends to resume relations with African countries.
“Now, with my return to the Presidency, we want to recover the good and productive [relação] that Brazil had with the African continent”, said Lula.
Lula was the president who made the most official trips to Africa during his first two terms. After that, the relationship with the mainland ebbed.
The Brazilian president assumed the commitment to return to Cape Verde for a visit by the head of state, in order to discuss the relationship between the countries.
Lula also said that he plans to visit a series of African nations, this and next year, and that he wants to open embassies in countries in the region without this type of representation.
He also stated that he intends to listen to specialists to define how Brazil can help African countries. He cited areas such as education, industry and agriculture. The aid would be a form of “payment” for the period in which Africans were enslaved in Brazil.
“We think that the form of payment that a country like Brazil can make is, in fact, the transfer of technology and the possibility of training people so that they have specialization in the various areas that the African continent needs and help in the possibility of industrialization , in the possibility of agriculture”, he pointed out, in a statement to the press.
“We Brazilians are formed by the African people. Our culture, our color, our size, is the result of the miscegenation of Indians, blacks and Europeans. And we are deeply grateful to the African continent for everything that was produced during 350 years of slavery in our country”, stated Lula.
In early May, he received Cape Verde’s prime minister, José Ulisses Correia e Silva, in Brasília, who was also the first head of government of an African nation to come to Brazil in the PT’s third term.
Educated in Brazil by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), the Cape Verdean politician highlighted Brazil’s return to international discussion forums.
Saying that Lula is a “great friend” of Africa and Cape Verde, José Maria Neves underlined that the two countries have “excellent cooperative relations”, highlighting hundreds of Cape Verdean cadres who studied on this side of the world, including himself.
The Cape Verdean head of state, who was present in Brasília, in January, at Lula’s inauguration, also recalled that the two countries have “very important commercial ties” and Brazil has contributed in the area of agriculture, livestock, research, information technology, defense and security.
“We have a naval mission from Brazil here in Cape Verde and, globally, Brazil has been a very close country and has made a good contribution to the development of Cape Verde”, said Neves, underlining the “return” of that country from North America South to the world.
“Brazil is a great country and its role in the world must match its size. We have seen that President Lula da Silva has brought this greatness to Brazil and has placed himself in a world that is up to the challenges that the world is facing at the moment”, he noted, stating that he counts on Brazil’s contribution to the rise of the South and to a more equal world.
The current president of Cape Verde was one of the African leaders who most enthusiastically received the news of Lula’s victory in the 2022 elections against Jair Bolsonaro (PL).
At the inauguration in Brasilia, José Maria Neves said that Brazil under Lula could represent a link between Africa and Latin America. The view is shared by some other leaders of CPLP member countries.
On the occasion, the president stated that Africa would once again be “a priority for Brazil, especially the relationship with Portuguese-speaking African countries”.