The VII Summit of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which will take place this Tuesday in Buenos Aires, Argentinawill seek to promote the integration of countries that are going through multiple political and economic crises, influenced by the renewed push of Brazil after the assumption of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The meeting of this consultation forum made up of 33 countries, currently chaired by Argentina, has as its star protagonist the Brazilian president, who returns to the international arena after winning the November elections in his country, with a speech in which he permanently recalls the diplomatic achievements of his first two presidencies (2003-2010).
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“Brazil is once again with open arms,” Lula summed up on Monday speaking to his Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernández at the Casa Rosada, within the framework of the first state visit of his new mandate.
Lula He has always made explicit the ambitions of international political leadership that he understands fit Brazil due to its geographical size, economic weight and, more recently, due to the breadth of the Amazonian territory that belongs to it, in a world that seeks to coordinate efforts against climate change.
But the years in which Brazilwith Lula in the Presidency, was a leading articulator between emerging countries and industrialized nations in the G20, promoting the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), or promoting Unasur and CELAC itself, created in 2010, they were far away
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The world is now “infinitely more complex,” the then foreign minister of Lula and today the main adviser to the president, Celso Amorim.
Even at this summit in Buenos Aires, the call was somewhat reduced. Several left-wing leaders such as the Colombian Gustavo Petro or the Chilean Gabriel Boric, and center-right leaders such as the Uruguayan Luis Lacalle Pou will be present.
But many from both sides of the political spectrum did not attend the call, such as the president of the second largest economy in Latin America, the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Others deserted at the last moment, like Nicolás Maduro. The Venezuelan ruler, who was denounced before the Argentine Justice by civil organizations and individuals for violation of human rights, in an attempt to have him investigated if he came to the country, announced on Monday that he will not touch Argentine soil.
Ripe I had an appointment on Monday with Lula, who instead kept on the agenda the meeting with the Cuban Miguel Díaz-Canel, after asking with his host Alberto Fernández, “to end” the US embargo on Cuba.
Context of regional tension
The CELAC summit will take place in a context of multiple internal crises in Latin American countries, and even tensions between neighbors and partners.
Peru is going through a deep institutional crisis, with a succession of presidents in a few years, most of them dismissed, the last of them the rural teacher Pedro Castillo, expelled by Congress after several attempts the day he announced that he would dissolve the Legislature, would govern by decree and the courts would intervene.
The attempt to self hit did not have the support of the security forces and Castillo was arrested and is now serving preventive detention. But the protests in the streets of Peru do not stop against the government of her constitutional successor, Dina Boluarte, with a balance of 46 deaths so far and with no sign of a solution.
In Nicaragua, dozens of opponents of the Daniel Ortega regime remain in prison and 15 days ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights requested “urgent measures” for the release of some, including former candidates for the Presidency in the 2021 elections who were imprisoned.
Argentina is going through an inflationary crisis in an election year, and the Fernández government multiplies measures to try to contain the rise in prices while it seeks to meet the fiscal goals agreed with the IMF, to which Argentina owes 44,000 million dollars.
Chile will start the process again to try to endow itself with a new Constitution after the failure of its constituent conventionY In Colombia, the Petro government agreed to discuss a bilateral ceasefire with the country’s last guerrilla, the ELN, starting in February.
The mercosur It is going through a deep crisis in the midst of Montevideo’s decision to negotiate a bilateral FTA with China and request entry into the Trans-Pacific Agreement without the consent of the other bloc partners, a decision strongly questioned by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
“Latin America is bankrupt from an institutional point of view,” and furthermore “it has not managed to insert itself into the world collectively,” Ignacio Bartesaghi, an expert in international relations and integration from the Catholic University of Uruguay, confirmed in a dialogue with AFP.
The summit will begin at 10:00 a.m. local (13:00 GMT) and a final press conference is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. local (20:30 GMT).
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