Maduro’s re-election in 2018 had been criticized by numerous countries as undemocratic. Brazil’s president sees this as “the most absurd thing in the world.”
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva received the authoritarian Venezuelan head of state Nicolás Maduro and backed his internationally controversial colleague from the neighboring country.
“I think it’s the most absurd thing in the world that people who defend democracy deny that you are President of Venezuela after being elected by the people,” Lula said after the meeting. Maduro’s re-election in 2018 had been criticized by numerous countries as undemocratic. Many states – including the USA and Germany – then recognized the opposition speaker of parliament Juan Guaidó as the legitimate head of state.
It was Maduro’s first visit to Brazil since 2015. Lula’s right-wing predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, had severed diplomatic ties with Venezuela. Lula resumed it shortly after taking office earlier this year. “May no one ever close the door again. Brazil and Venezuela must be united, now and forever,” Maduro said.
Summit on Tuesday
On Tuesday, Lula invited South American leaders to a summit in Brasília to revitalize the Union of South American Nations (UNASU). The alliance of states was founded in 2008 by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Argentine President Néstor Kirchner. Because of ideological differences, the group has been largely paralyzed in recent years. Unasur currently has neither a seat nor a general secretary.
“This moment is important for many reasons, but one of them is that South America has to convince itself that we have to work as one bloc. Nobody can imagine that one South American country alone can solve its problems that have been going on for more than 500 years years,” said Lula.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.