The VII Summit of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) this Tuesday in Buenos Aires seeks to promote the integration of countries that are going through multiple political and economic crises, under the influence of the renewed drive of Brazil after the assumption of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The meeting of this forum made up of 33 countries and which he currently chairs Argentina Its starring protagonist is 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).
“Brazil is once again with open arms”summed up Lula on Monday before his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernandez, at the Casa Rosada, in the framework of the first state visit of his new mandate.
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Lula has always made explicit the ambitions of international political leadership that he understands correspond to Brazil due to its geographical size, economic weight and, more recently, due to the extent of the Amazonian territory that belongs to it, in a world that seeks to coordinate efforts against climate change.
But long gone are the years in which Brazil, with Lula in the presidency, was a preponderant 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.
the world is now “infinitely more complex”recently said Lula’s then foreign minister and today the president’s main adviser, Celso Amorim.
Even so, “and despite the fact that Celac is not a formal body, it is the only forum that brings together all the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean”, Fernando Haddad, Brazilian Minister of Economy, reflected on the importance of the meeting in Buenos Aires at an impromptu press conference minutes before the start of the meeting.
The presence of leaders was somewhat reduced in this edition. Several leftist leaders such as the Colombian will be present Gustavo Petro or the Chilean gabriel boricand center-right like the Uruguayan Luis Lacalle Pou.
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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 Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Others deserted at the last minute, such as Nicolas 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.
Maduro had an appointment on Monday with Lula, who instead kept the meeting with the Cuban on the agenda. Miguel Diaz-Canelafter asking with his host Alberto Fernández, “let it end” the US embargo on Cuba.
Context of regional tension
the summit of the celac It 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 Castilloexpelled by Congress after several attempts the day he announced that he would dissolve the Legislature, govern by decree and the Justice would intervene.
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The self-coup attempt 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 his constitutional successor, Dina Boluartewith a balance of 46 deaths so far and without signs of a solution.
In Nicaragua, dozens of opponents of the regime of Daniel Ortega are still 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 billion dollars.
Chile will start the process again to try to endow itself with a new Constitution after the failure of its constitutional convention, and in Colombia, the Petro government agreed to discuss a bilateral ceasefire starting in February with the last guerrilla in the country, the ELN.
Mercosur is experiencing a deep crisis amid 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.
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“Latin America is bankrupt from an institutional point of view”plus “it fails to insert itself into the world collectively”, Ignacio Bartesaghi, an expert in international relations and integration from the Catholic University of Uruguay, confirmed in dialogue with AFP.
The summit begins 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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