Mercosur: Lula da Silva’s presence in Argentina is straining bilateral relations with Brazil | International
Luiz InÃ¡cio Lula da Silva is in Buenos Aires. His presence at a large demonstration in the Plaza de Mayo, called to commemorate the return to democracy in Argentina and the second anniversary of the government of Alberto FernÃ¡ndez, strained relations with Brazil. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry has suspended the presence of the summit of presidents of Mercosur, scheduled for December 16 and 17 in Brasilia. Itamaraty, as president for the moment of the bloc which also make up Uruguay and Paraguay, informed its Argentinian partners that all meetings will be by videoconference. Two versions circulated in the corridors of the Planalto Palace, seat of the Brazilian presidency. The first, official, refers to health problems. The second, unofficial, is political and has to do with alleged unrest with Buenos Aires over the invitation of Lula, who must decide in early 2022 whether or not he will compete with Bolsonaro for the presidency.
“Tuesday evening, Itamaraty formalized to the Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs the decision to hold the virtual summit for the new strain of omicron” of the coronavirus, which has already been detected in at least six Brazilian patients, a government source said. ‘Alberto. Fernandez. The same source denied that the suspension was linked to Lula’s visit. “Regarding the versions, the invitation to Lula is limited to the celebration of the International Day of Human Rights and democratic recovery in our country, two central pillars of modern Argentine history”, a- he declared.
December 10 is a date full of symbolism in Argentina. 38 years ago President RaÃºl AlfonsÃn was sworn in as president elected at the polls after a bloody dictatorship. Since then, this date coincides with the return to democracy and the day on which the United Nations General Assembly approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. When the situation warrants it, Argentinian governments also celebrate their own management anniversaries. This Friday evening, Alberto FernÃ¡ndez displayed all the pomp, in touchdown.
For this reason, not only the president, but also his vice-president, Cristina FernÃ¡ndez de Kirchner, Lula da Silva and the former president of Uruguay, JosÃ© Pepe Mujica, will be in the Plaza de Mayo. The parties and social movements that support the Casa Rosada have promised to “break up the place”, in a show of strength and unity of Peronism in power. After the defeat in the legislative elections of November 14, when the ruling party lost control of the Senate and rightly retained the first minority of deputies, the government redoubled its efforts to find the Peronist mystic. The Plaza de Mayo is the right place for this.
But Lula’s arrival did not go well in Bolsonaro’s Brazil. The Brazilian president is uncomfortable with the repercussions of the latest international trips made by which will surely be his main stumbling block towards his re-election. While Bolsonaro was ignored by European leaders at the G20 meeting in Rome in November, Lula was greeted days later with the pomp of a head of state by French President Emmanuel Macron. During his European tour he also met the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro SÃ¡nchez, and the future German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz. Lula da Silva even gave a speech and received a standing ovation at a meeting of progressive parties held in the European Parliament. While the former president reaped the fruits of his meetings with these European leaders, Bolsonaro met with heads of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.
Is it possible, however, that the reason for the suspension of participation in the Mercosur summit is health? According to the official version, Bolsonaro is worried about the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, and has therefore decided to avoid the circulation of foreign delegations in Brasilia. Doubt arises because the Brazilian is a declared denier of the pandemic. Bolsonaro has opposed any measures restricting the entry of passengers on international flights to the country and boasts of not being vaccinated against covid-19. He even rejected a few days ago the recommendations of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) to close the airspace or use a vaccination record to cross migrations.
Join MRT to follow all the news and read without limits.
Tension returns to Mercosur at a time when Brazil and Argentina were trying to reconcile their positions. Last October, the two countries agreed to a 10% reduction in the common external tariff (AEC) applied by the bloc to extra-zone imports, which today pay an average penalty of 13%. This is the first sign of easing after a year marked by demands for greater trade openness and threats of rupture launched in particular by Uruguay and Paraguay, the two minor partners of the bloc. It is the first who has tightened the rope the most with its decision to move forward in bilateral trade agreements without the consensus of the others, which Mercosur prohibits by law. In September, Luis Lacalle Pou’s government went even further and announced the opening of negotiations to conclude a free trade agreement with China.
Subscribe here to the MRT AmÃ©rica newsletter and receive all the informative keys on the current situation in the region.
Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and not edited by our team.