Before the meeting between South American heads of state, held this Tuesday (30/05) in Brasilia, some representatives expressed their expectations regarding the event, through social networks or interviews with media in their respective countries.
The Argentine newspaper Página/12 reported that the president of that country, Alberto Fernández, traveled with the intention of talking about strengthening regional bodies, especially with regard to the recovery of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), an entity that so much both he and the host president, the Brazilian Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have recently declared that they intend to reactivate.
“Argentina is committed to deepening its bilateral relations, within the framework of Mercosur and Unasur, essential bodies for consolidating democracies and achieving Latin American unity,” said Fernández.
In his social networks, the Argentine representative quoted the former president of his country, Néstor Kirchner [de quem ele foi ministro do Interior], to reinforce its stance, but with a different formula for consolidating these integration mechanisms. “As Néstor used to say, the old molds have broken and the new problems require new solutions”, he commented.
The president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, wrote comments on his Twitter account about his hope that the meeting, called by Lula the “retreat of presidents”, will be a way of inserting his country and the region into a new international scenario. .
“We came to Brazil to reaffirm the unity of the Great Fatherland and face the challenges of a new multipolar world”, published the Bolivian representative.
After the meeting, Arce said that “we are a region with great potential and the complementarity of our economies allows us to pursue the energy, technological and digital transition, in addition to promoting intraregional trade, investment and cooperation”.
Mature and Petro
In a live broadcast from the Itamaraty building, where the event between the presidents will take place, the Venezuelan state channel VTV emphasized that the president of his country, Nicolás Maduro, was the first to land in Brazil for the meeting [na noite de domingo, 28/05] and also the first to arrive at the place of the “retreat”, this Tuesday morning.
According to reporter Graia Casella, Maduro declared, shortly after arriving at the Itamaraty, that “this is an important instance to resume the path of self-determination of peoples, which was interrupted by those who wanted to return to the past and play the game of those who want to submit the region to foreign interests”.
The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, stated that “the world scenario is critical. Without a doubt, Latin America needs to be united, be a unified voice, because it has great potential, it has in its hands, in its own territory, several of the most important solutions to the integral crisis that humanity is experiencing today. This meeting should clarify that role.”
But the proposal to recover Unasur did not please everyone present. Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou, who broadcast his speech through his YouTube channel, filming it from his cell phone, said that “we must stop this tendency to create organizations, and let’s focus on actions.”
“We have to prioritize actions, and also review our actions. Following the path on which we have already advanced in so many things and undoing the wrong path, because it is also by undoing mistakes that national and regional policies are built”, he added.
Another right-wing president, Ecuadorian Guillermo Lasso, declared that “integration has to serve to improve the lives of citizens: their health, their security, their education, our environment and other essential issues”.
In addition to the representatives mentioned above, the presidents Gabriel Boric (Chile), Irfaan Ali (Guyana), Abdo Benítez (Paraguay) and Chan Santokhi (Suriname) also participated in the event. Peruvian Dina Boluarte was the only absentee, but her country was represented by Alberto Otárola, head of that country’s Council of Ministers.
At the opening of the meeting with his counterparts, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva emphasized that “a strong, confident and politically organized South America expands the possibilities of asserting, at the international level, a true Latin American and Caribbean identity”.
With a speech focused on the importance of relaunching Unasur, Lula recalled that the organization “was effective as a forum for resolving disputes between countries in the region, notably in the crisis between Colombia and Ecuador and in the Bolivian separatist conflict”.
Then, he lamented the abandonment that the entity suffered: “we let ideologies divide us and interrupt the integration effort. We abandoned dialogue channels and cooperation mechanisms and, with that, we all lost”.
“Dear presidents, if today we take the first steps to resume dialogue as a region, the context we face is even more challenging than it was in the past (…) No country can face the systemic threats of today in isolation. It is only by working together that we will be able to overcome them”, added Lula.
Peru and Ecuador have a parallel meeting
Before the meeting between the presidents, the representatives of Peru and Ecuador had a brief bilateral meeting, in which they addressed issues related to the political crises that both countries are currently facing.
The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, expressed his support for the Peruvian government, which is facing a new wave of demonstrations, the third since December, calling for new elections and the holding of a plebiscite to convene a new constituent assembly in the country, measures that Lima has taken refuse to accept.
Peru was the only country that was not represented by its president in the “retreat” called by Lula. The Peruvian delegation was led by the head of the Council of Ministers, Alberto Otárola, who replaced the representative Dina Boluarte.
During the meeting with Lasso, Otárola also expressed Lima’s support for the controversial decisions taken by the Ecuadorian government two weeks ago, when a constitutional mechanism was activated to dissolve the country’s National Assembly and call new general elections. [marcadas para o dia 20 de agosto]with the aim of interrupting the progress of an impeachment process against the representative.