The President of Brazil calls for “unity” for the sake of Latin America
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called, Tuesday, in the capital, Brasilia, for “unity in order to overcome ideological differences between neighboring countries,” during the opening of a lightning summit with his counterparts from Latin America.
In a speech before the start of the talks, Lula said: “We let ideologies divide us and hinder (regional) integration efforts.” We abandoned the mechanisms of dialogue and cooperation, and we all lost.”
“If we do not unite, we will not be able to ensure that development in South America is at the level of its potential,” added the Brazilian president, who began his third term in January.
This meeting, the first of its kind since 2014, brought together the leaders of 11 countries in the Brazilian capital. Peruvian President Dina Pollarte was the only one absent from the summit.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has not visited Brazil for 8 years, was one of the first to arrive, on Tuesday morning, at the Itamaraty Palace, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to participate in closed meetings.
Lula described the resumption of relations between Brazil and Venezuela as a “historic” moment after Maduro was persona non grata during the term of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022).
For his part, the Venezuelan president, who arrived in the Brazilian capital on Sunday evening, said, “Today is the beginning of a new era in the relations between our two countries and our peoples.”
Relations between the two countries, which share more than 2,000 kilometers of land borders, were non-existent under the presidency of Bolsonaro, who described the Venezuelan socialist regime as “dictatorial”.
Lula criticized his predecessor; Because he “chose the path of isolation by closing the door to historical partners.”
During his first term as President of Brazil (2003-2010), Lula maintained a close relationship with Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor.
In his opening speech, the Brazilian president also spoke of “the urgent need to renew dialogue in the region, to put in place concrete measures for sustainable development, peace and well-being of the population.”
Gisela Maria Figueiredo, responsible for relations with Latin America and the Caribbean in the Brazilian government, pointed out that the main objective of the summit is to “renew dialogue to find a common vision” in many areas such as “health, infrastructure, energy, environment, and combating organized crime.”
The heads of state were also accompanied, during the closed meetings in the Itamarati Palace, by their foreign ministers and some advisors in order to create a “more comfortable” atmosphere, according to a Brazilian diplomatic source confirmed to the “AFP”.
The last meeting between Latin American heads of state took place in 2014 in Quito, Ecuador, on the occasion of a summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which was founded by Lula and his Venezuelan counterpart at the time, Hugo Chavez, in 2008, when the region witnessed the first wave of leftist governments.
The federation included 12 countries at its inception, most of them led by the left, but with the return of the right to power, a number of countries left the regional organization, including Brazil and Argentina, who did not return to its ranks until this year, but the situation changed with the new pink tide on the impact of the rise The left again in Latin America, and the election this year of Lula in Brazil, Gabriel Boric in Chile, and Gustavo Petro in Colombia, opened the way for Venezuela’s return to the regional arena, and gave new impetus to cooperation between the countries of the region.