President Luis Lacalle Pou signed the Consensus of Brasilia, the agreement by which eleven representatives of South America they promised to evaluate which is the best mechanism for the integration of the region, although without mentioning the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and in the midst of criticism from the head of state of Uruguay towards the situation of human rights in Venezuela.
In his speech, Lacalle Pou questioned the words of Lula Da Silva, his Brazilian counterpart, about the reinstatement of Venezuela in the regional diplomatic concert and criticized point 2 of the agreement, which states that South America is “committed to democracy and human rights, sustainable development and social justice, the rule of law and institutional stability, the defense of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs”.
“I was surprised when they talked about what happens in Venezuela. You already know what we think. Now, if there are so many groups in the world trying to mediate so that democracy is full in Venezuela the worst thing we can do is cover the sun with one finger,” said the Uruguayan president. To top it off, he had to broadcast his participation through his Instagram account, since the Brazilian government only released the initial words of Lula da Silva.
Lacalle Pou’s criticism of Venezuela
Lacalle Pou He had already pointed out on previous occasions that for him the form of government of Venezuela “It’s a dictatorship.” In this sense, he indicated: “What has to be in Venezuela it is democracy. There may be a commercial link”. It was at the end of 2022, when a stir was generated by the decision to appoint an ambassador.
The situation was recalled by the president, mentioning that recently Uruguay appointed an ambassador to that country, after seven years of diplomatic absence “because our affinity is with the Venezuelan people and it is not up to us to choose the government.”
He also clarified that in this context he was allowed to comment on what happens in the country that governs Nicolas Maduro for the content of the text: “I have the possibility of giving my opinion on point 2, which talks about democracy, human rights and protecting institutions. If this point 2 had not existed, I would not have given an opinion”. “When we put the signature, because the idea is to sign this, we do not have the same definition of what institutions and democracy are,” he clarified, anticipating his signature.
The salient points of the Brasilia Consensus
The agreement was signed, in addition to Lacalle Pou, Lula Da Silva and Maduro, by the presidents of Argentina, Alberto Fernández; from Bolivia, Luis Arce; from Colombia, Gustavo Petro; from Chile, Gabriel Boric; from Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso; from Guyana, Mohamed Irfaan Ali; from Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez; from Suriname, Chan Santokhi; and the president of the Council of Ministers of Peru, Alberto Otárola.
Among several items, they agreed that “regional integration should be part of the solutions to face the shared challenges in building a peaceful world.” In addition, “they pledged to work for the increase of trade and investment between the countries of the region.”
In that tone, they postulated “the improvement of infrastructure and logistics; strengthening regional value chains; the application of trade facilitation and financial integration measures; overcoming asymmetries; the elimination of unilateral measures; and access to markets through the network of economic complementation agreements, including within the framework of the Aladi, having as goal an effective South American free trade area”.
In addition, they decided to “establish a contact group, headed by the foreign ministers, to evaluate the experiences of the South American integration mechanisms and the preparation of a road map for the integration of South America, to be submitted to the consideration of the Heads of State”.