Este é um espaço fundamentalmente dedicado a indexar notícias relacionadas a política na América Latina e Caribe.
Para o debate de questões relativas a Ciência Política e a Política Internacional e para promoção de uma cultura integracionista latino-americana.
Um meio também de divulgação da pesquisa e produção acadêmica do autor deste blog.
O advogado brasileiro Paulo Abrão tomou posse nesta quarta-feira (11) como presidente do Instituto de Políticas Públicas em Direitos Humanos do Mercosul (IPPDH). Ele foi indicado para o cargo pela ministra da Secretaria de Direitos Humanos da Presidência da República, Ideli Salvatti, em novembro do ano passado, durante Reunião de Altas Autoridades em Direitos Humanos do Mercosul, em Buenos Aires. Paulo Abrão é mestre em Direito, foi secretário Nacional de Justiça e tem amplo histórico de militância em Direitos Humanos. Ele sucederá o argentino Victor Abramovich. O Instituto de Políticas Públicas em Direitos Humanos do Mercosul é um organismo regional criado pelo Mercosul em 2009, com sede em Buenos Aires. O IPPDH tem como funções principais a cooperação técnica, a pesquisa, a capacitação e o apoio à coordenação de políticas em direitos humanos da região. Esta é a primeira vez que o instituto será comandado por um brasileiro. Segue abaixo entrevista concedida ao site da SDH/PR:
Quais suas perspectivas para os próximos 2 anos à frente do IPPDH?
Preservar e consolidar as atuais conquistas do IPPDH e avançar. O Instituto é um grande esforço de integração de visões políticas entre os governos e povos dos países membros e associados do MERCOSUL que desejam expressar que os direitos humanos são a base fundamental de nossas nações. Trata-se de um legado importante que, inclusive, precisa ser difundido para outros continentes. Nossa perspectiva, portanto é essa: continuar a mobilizar e fornecer a melhor capacidade técnica para assessorar os desenvolvimentos internos de cada país, buscar intensificar a integração e cooperação entre nós, mas também difundir e transferir essa perspectiva, boas práticas e experiência acumulada pelos nossos países para outras regiões.
Sua indicação se deu num contexto de convergência mercosul-unasul. Como vc avalia essa aproximação?
Temos em comum viver em Estados de Direito em contínua construção. Com um conjunto de desafios partilhados. Quanto mais abrangentes e qualificadas forem as políticas públicas e quanto mais houver cooperação entre os países maior será a probabilidade de efetividade dos direitos. O IPPDH deve permanecer sob integral disposição das autoridades de nossos governos a fim de traduzir essa clara vontade de convergência política e social cada vez mais em uma cooperação concreta em termos de programas integrados. Esse processo progressivo passa necessariamente pela convergência Mercosul-Unasul.
No que diz respeito ao tema da memória e verdade, onde será possível avançar?
A base comum de uma história de governos autoritários e opressores acabam por reforçar os processos de identidade entre os povos nossos países. Creio que a construção de um padrão comum de respostas institucionais para as graves violações de direitos humanos no passado (e no presente) é uma contribuição civilizatoria que nossa região pode e tem para oferecer. Os avanços dependem sempre de uma simbiose entre dinâmicas de mobilização social e respaldo governamental para as autoridades de direitos humanos. É certo que podemos avançar muito, resta saber em que grau essa simbiose ocorrerá daqui para frente, a partir do que já foi conquistado.
Quais os temas vc elencaria como prioridades?
Em matérias de direitos humanos a prioridade deve ser sempre os grupos sociais mais vulneráveis, independentemente do tema em que estejam inseridos. Ao fim e ao cabo é preciso dar conta dessas prioridades e de todo o mais. Mas são as nossas autoridades governamentais em direitos humanos, legitimadas pelos processos democráticos que lhes escolheram, juntamente com os movimentos sociais organizados que apontarão os temas prioritários. E o IPPDH deve continuar como elemento mobilizador de inteligências, animador contra retrocessos, indutor de avanços, formulador de ideias, facilitador de diálogos e executor prático do que lhe for incumbido. Eu tenho a honra de suceder o incrível trabalho de Vitor Abramovich, isso vai facilitar as coisas.
O que podemos esperar do primeiro brasileiro à frente do Instituto?
Capacidade de indignação diante das injustiças, perseverança, fraternidade e compromisso de vida com o desenvolvimento humano dos povos latino-americanos. Todas as nossas políticas devem ser implementadas com participação social e colocar a pessoa humana no centro das atenções. Também sou entusiasta por conectarmos cada vez mais os temas dos direitos humanos, do desenvolvimento e da qualidade dos serviços públicos.
On Monday, President Obama announced a "special state of emergency," saying that the situation in Venezuela is one that represents an extraordinary danger to U.S. interests and foreign policy. He alsoimposed sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials, claiming that they were complicit in repressing Venezuelan civil society and freedom of the press.
Worldwide, and within the United States also, this set off an epidemic of head scratching, as people tried to figure out how internal developments in Venezuela somehow represent a danger for the United States. In Latin America, the reaction was more intense, as leaders and ordinary citizens recalled past instances in which U.S. interventions have led to "regime change" involving the deaths of thousands.
In the 19th century, the United States seized more than half of Mexico and all of Puerto Rico, plus the Guantanamo Bay area in Cuba. In the first half of the twentieth century, U.S. troops directly intervened in all of the countries of Central America, plus Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic and some South American countries. In these interventions peoples' movements for democracy were crushed, dictators put in and propped up in power, and dissident leaders murdered, such as Augusto Cesar Sandino in Nicaragua andCharlemagne Peralte in Haiti.
The CIA-engineered overthrow of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, set off decades of civil war in which at least 200,000 people, mostly poor indigenous farmers, died. Multiple projects to destabilize Cuba began with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, including the disastrous Bay of Pigs adventure.
In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson ordered the invasion of the Dominican Republic to prevent a dictator from being overthrown by pro-democracy forces. In 1973 the U.S., after having done everything possible to destabilize the Chilean economy, backed a military coup against Socialist Party President Salvador Allende which led to the death of at least 3,000 and the imprisonment or exile of tens of thousands.
In the 1970s, the U.S. government collaborated in "Operation Condor" in which South American dictatorships carried out mass killings of dissidents. In the 1980s, U.S. interventions in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras created more bloodbaths. The United States was complicit in coups in Venezuela (2002), Haiti (2004) and Honduras (2009).
In all of these interventions the purpose was to protect U.S. corporations' ability to exploit local populations and get hold of poor countries' national resources. But always a pretext was proclaimed that the United States was defending human rights, democracy and good government. Today it's "humanitarian intervention."
So when this past week U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki faced a press conference and claimed that the United States does not interfere in other countries' internal affairs, she was met with incredulous responses from the reporters.
Reminded of past interventions, Psaki said it would be better not to get into history. But history happened and cannot be wished away. People in the United States are often unaware of this history, while people in Latin America are very acutely aware of it.
An appeal for support from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro got an immediate positive response. Governments of Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua, all linked to Venezuela through the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) issued support statements denouncing Obama's announcement and especially the sanctions, as did Argentina and the People's Republic of China, a major rival of the United States in South American trade.
Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed the views of the region when he said "We condemn, we repudiate, in the 21st Century we will not accept this kind of intervention by the United States....All of our solidarity, all of our support goes to President Maduro, and the revolutionary Bolivarian government and people of Venezuela."
President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said, "It must be a bad joke, which reminds us of the darkest hours of our America, when we received [sic] invasions and dictatorships imposed by imperialism."
UNASUR (The Union of South American Nations), which includes every independent country in South America, had already moved to help Venezuela by organizing trade support to remedy some of the food scarcities which, along with inflation and dropping oil prices, are currently a source of disquiet. Also, UNASUR had assigned its Secretary General, former Colombian President Ernesto Samper, to talk to the Venezuelan government and its opponents for purposes of tension reduction. After Obama's action on Monday, UNASUR passed a resolution condemning any outside intervention in Venezuela's internal affairs. UNASUR will have a special emergency meeting on Mar. 14.
Protests against Obama's statement occurred in Venezuela and elsewhere, at a point at which the new U.S. approach to Cuba had created some goodwill for a change. The Venezuelan government asked for, and got, passage of an enabling law to allow it to deal with any new security threat. At least part of the opposition in Venezuela hurriedly distanced itself from Obama's proclamation. On Apr. 10 -12, Obama will have to face the hostility that this incident has created at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
Some U.S. officials are now seeming to say that they did not really mean that Venezuela represents and extraordinary threat to the United States, that this was legalistic language to make possible the imposition of sanctions on the Venezuelan officials-leading to more head scratching and quizzical looks.
“Venezuela is not alone. They have the support of all the Latin American and Caribbean countries,” Ecuador's Foreign Minister added. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has said the member-states of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) bloc will meet to discuss U.S. interference in Venezuelan affairs which he described as “gross, illegal, shameless, outrageous, and unjustified act of interference.”
The head of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, has already made clear that the bloc stands behind the democratically-elected government of Nicolas Maduro.
"There is no possibility that UNASUR will validate any attempt to disrupt the democratic process in any country in the region," said Samper.
During a meeting in Quito, Ecuador, which included representatives of Mercosur, ALBA, Pacific Alliance, the Andean Community and the Amazon Treaty Cooperation Agreement (OTCA), Samper added that the sanctions against Venezuela were not a good sign at this time.
“It is not a good thing that the United States unilaterally interferes in Venezuela's internal affairs precisely before the Summit of the Americas (scheduled for April) and when we were preparing to celebrate the return of Cuba to this forum,” he said.
He also condemned the fact that Washington is undermining the efforts being made by the foreign ministers of Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador to pave the way for a political dialogue respecting Venezuela's sovereignty.
Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño told teleSUR on Wednesday that the UNASUR bloc backs Venezuela's sovereignty and that the extraordinary meeting in Uruguay is to respond to Obama's actions.
“Venezuela is not alone. They have the support of all the Latin American and Caribbean countries,” he added.
Patiño said that the fact the Washington considers Venezuela a threat to its national security is unacceptable and condemned the U.S. for using these types of statements to justify intervention in sovereign countries.
The 12 members of the ALBA group of Latin American and Caribbean nations issued a statement opposing, “any aggression or attempt to undermine the peace, democracy and sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”
The bloc also pointed out that the measures implemented by the U.S. – both the sanctions against Venezuelan officials and the executive order – go against the principles of international law.
The statement follows condemnation from the Union of South American States (UNASUR) and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
The head of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, accused the U.S. of seeking to further polarize the Venezuelan people through the measures.
“I don't think it is good for a country to impose unilateral sanctions … the Venezuelan affairs have to be resolved by the Venezuelan people,” said Samper, speaking to reporters.
The Parlatino also approved a resolution in rejection of the U.S. actions and in support of UNASUR's efforts to end the political standoff between the Venezuelan government and the right-wing opposition.
The head of the Venezuelan delegation to Parlatino, Angel Rodriguez, denounced the latest U.S. measure as an act of interference against his country.
“They are trying to generate support in public opinion to justify the critics, the sanctions, the economic warfare, even an armed intervention,” Rodriguez explained.
ALBA statement (unofficial translation)
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) group of countries expresses its utmost rejection of the “Executive Order” issued by the United States President Barack Obama, on March 9, 2015, in which the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is categorized as an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to national security and U.S. foreign policy.
This constitutes an unprecedented aggression against that country and thus our region.
This aggression violates every principle of international law which governs relationships between states, treating every state as equal and sovereign.
It also undermines the historic anti-imperialist struggle claimed by our people, and threatens the peace and tranquility of our countries.
The ALBA member states reject emphatically every aggression and attempt to undermine the peace, democracy and sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and we urge the U.S. government to respect the right to self-determination of the people and the non-interference in internal affairs, in accordance to international law and the spirit of freedom and independence.
Bolvia’s finance minister announced that the Bank of the South is ready to begin operations.
The alternative financial institution Bank of the South is ready to begin operations with capital contributions from Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela, said Bolivian Finance Minister Luis Arce on Monday.
Arce stated that countries were "now fulfilling the requirements for the establishment and start of operations of the Bank of the South: resources from Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia have been guaranteed."
"The only thing we need is for the presidents to gather and raise the checkered flag to start activities at the Bank of the South," said Arce, adding there was no official date for the opening.
The bank seeks to lessen dependence on traditional international financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund by providing alternative sources of financial capital.
The financial institution is expected to have an initial operation budget of US$20 billion, which will finance a wide variety of projects including physical infrastructure, energy integration and natural resource initiatives.
Uruguayan-Ecuadorian analyst Kintto Lucas said today that the decision of President Barack Obama to consider Venezuela a threat to US national security is the prelude to an armed intervention against Venezuela. Lucas said, in an article that he sent to the Prensa Latina news agency, that this action can begin with a naval blockade to block Venezuelan oil exports.
"This way the economic coup that has been staged, and complemented by the direct actions of the opposition, would be strengthened, leading to a civil war that would give the United States the excuse to invade", said Lucas.
Lucas, who was deputy foreign minister of Ecuador from 2010 to 2012, urged the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to adopt a critical stance against what he described as an attack on Latin American sovereignty.
"The future will show us that if we do not take joint urgent actions, we will possibly regret an intervention and civil war", said Lucas while considering that the United States Government is using the same method it used to invade Libya and Syria.
After pointing out that "the blockade on Cuba has not being lifted and another blockade on a Latin American country is beginning", Lucas urged political parties and social movements that support Latin American sovereignty to join a common front against US intervention in Venezuela.
Samper ya había declarado que "no hay
ninguna posibilidad de que Unasur avale una ruptura o un intento de
tumbar o de detener el proceso democrático en Venezuela".
El secretario general del bloque señaló que "los asuntos de Venezuela los tienen que resolver los venezolanos".
El secretario general de la Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Unasur), Ernesto Samper, consideró este martes que las sanciones impuestas el lunes por EE. UU. a altos funcionarios venezolanos contribuyen a "radicalizar los ánimos" entre los dos países en medio de "la situación ya polarizada que se vive en Venezuela".
"Obviamente registramos con preocupación esta decisión porque, a mi juicio, no va a contribuir a calmar sino a radicalizar los ánimos en la situación ya polarizada que se vive en Venezuela", sostuvo Samper en entrevista con Caracol Radio.
"No considero que sea favorable que un país de forma unilateral imponga sanciones", opinó Samper, que destacó que "los asuntos de Venezuela los tienen que resolver los venezolanos".
Estados Unidos impuso el lunes nuevas sanciones contra altos funcionarios venezolanos, emitió una orden ejecutiva que "implementa y amplía" las sanciones aprobadas por el Congreso a finales del pasado año y declaró una situación de "emergencia nacional" ante el "riesgo extraordinario" que supone la situación venezolana para la seguridad de Estados Unidos.
Se trata de una medida en respuesta a "la erosión de garantías de derechos humanos por parte del gobierno de Venezuela" y la "persecución de oponentes políticos", según la orden ejecutiva emitida por el presidente estadounidense, Barack Obama.
A juicio de Unasur, tanto la decisión del gobierno EE. UU. como la respuesta del presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, quien pedirá "poderes especiales" al parlamento para defender la "integridad" del país, "no contribuyen a enfriar y aclarar el clima que se está viviendo".
Así mismo lamentó que estas sanciones lleguen pocos días después de que se anunciara que Venezuela celebrará en el segundo semestre de este año elecciones legislativas para renovar la totalidad de la unicameral Asamblea Nacional (Parlamento) de Venezuela, dominada actualmente por el oficialismo.
"Veo que hay por lo menos una voluntad democrática de los dirigentes (venezolanos) de aprovechar el espacio que se abre de unas próximas elecciones que tendrán lugar antes de concluir el año", comentó Samper, quien fue presidente de Colombia entre 1994 y 1998.
El secretario general reiteró el apoyo de Unasur a buscar una salida institucional a la crisis de Venezuela, con quien ha trabajado recientemente como intermediario.
De hecho, el pasado viernes, Samper encabezó una delegación compuesta por los cancilleres de Colombia, Ecuador y Brasil, la cual se reunió en Caracas con Maduro y otras autoridades y con algunos de los dirigentes de la oposición.
Hoy recordó que, tras esa visita, "una de las conclusiones de los cancilleres fue buscar un acercamiento con EE.UU.", algo que será complicado con el actual incremento de la tensión.
"Nosotros lo que creemos es que hay que buscar salidas, porque esta campaña que se está incrementando de recriminaciones, de insultos, de juicios públicos de responsabilidades que no llegan a ninguna parte; me parece que a quienes les está haciendo daño finalmente es a los venezolanos", apuntó. Fonte: http://www.semana.com/mundo/articulo/samper-sanciones-de-ee-uu-venezuela-radicalizan-animos/420512-3
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced that he will promote an agreement to do away with visas for Colombian citizens that want to travel to the Schengen area at the upcoming EU-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Summit in June. The leaders of Spain and Colombia signed a declaration and various partnership agreements.
Rajoy, received the President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, who is on a State visit to Spain, at Moncloa Palace.
At the joint press conference they gave at the end of the meeting, Rajoy highlighted that the visit takes places at a key time in the recent history of Colombia. “After half a century of hostilities and numerous victims, President Santos has pushed through a highly complex peace process with a far-reaching historical scope that is currently going through a crucial phase”, he explained.
Rajoy recalled that Juan Manuel Santos was in Madrid last November at the start of a European tour designed to explain the developments in the peace process in Colombia and to gather political support for this process. As he did on that occasion, he reiterated the Spanish Government’s support for the initiative, “support that is shared by the main Spanish political forces and by our own public opinion”. “I am aware that President Santos is working with great drive and conviction. I hope that peace comes soon”, he added.
Progress on removing Schengen visas
Rajoy undertook to mediate at the upcoming EU-CELAC Summit in June in Brussels to try to push through the removal of the requirement for Schengen visas for Colombian and Peruvian citizens. He explained that the measure has received positive political backing but that certain technical issues are still pending. “It would be reckless of me to put a date on it because the resolution of these problems is not down to me, but I will do all I can”, he said.
“I would like to highlight that this initiative is recognition of thousands of Colombians that live in Spain and who have decisively contributed to our development and to our liberty. It is also due recognition of all Colombians, their sacrifices and their desire for peace”, Rajoy added.
The Governments of Spain and Colombia have signed a declaration that updates the current framework of the Strategic Association in force since 2008, which identifies priorities in bilateral relations, as well as potential areas for future collaboration. “The agreement provides for the re-launch of the High-Level Commission, chaired by the foreign affairs ministers, which will meet on an annual basis at alternating locations”, pointed out Rajoy.
In addition, other sector agreements have been signed on development cooperation, broadcasting in Castilian Spanish, air transport and collaboration on issues relating to penitentiary institutions. The two leaders confirmed the strong level of economic and trade relations between the two countries and the potential for expansion.
European Union-Latin America
The two leaders also spoke about relations between the EU and Latin America and, in particular, with Colombia, which, according to Rajoy, “is a good example of creative and diversified cooperation.
At an economic and trade level, the Spanish Prime Minister advocated taking further steps “on the path between Latin America and Europe by facilitating integration and free trade processes”. He also recalled that Spain will continue to support Colombia’s membership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “a process that will hopefully be concluded next year”.
On security issues, Rajoy recalled that Colombia has increased its commitment beyond its borders. In this regard, he pointed out that the agreement signed with the European Union “will shortly allow Colombia to play an active role, through a naval vessel, in Operation Atalanta to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean”. He also remarked that Colombia has laid the foundations for its cooperation with NATO, resulting in the signing of an agreement on co-operation and information security in July 2013. “Spain clearly supports these initiatives”, he stressed.
Among other issues Rajoy and Juan Manuel Santos also tackled the upcoming EU-CELAC Summit; the Ibero-American Summit that will take place in Colombia in 2016, and the progress made by the Pacific Alliance, of which Spain was the first EU Observer State.
Three foreign ministers will join the fact-finding delegation Friday.
Three foreign ministers from the Union of South American Nations member states will travel to Venezuela Friday in light of recent coup attempts, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Eduardo Patiño confirmed Wednesday.
“I confirm a visit to Venezuela of three foreign mnisters and the Secretary-General of UNASUR this Friday, March 6,” the Ecuadorean official posted to his official twitter account.
Confirmo visita a Venezuela de tres Cancilleres y Secretario General de UNASUR este viernes 6 de marzo. — Ricardo Patiño Aroca (@RicardoPatinoEC)March 4, 2015
Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira and Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin will also be joining the fact-finding mission.
“Secretary-General of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, confirmed to me that this Friday the delegation to support democracy in Venezuela is coming on Friday. Thank God we have UNASUR, that allows us to navigate these battles through paths of peace,” he said.
Venezuelan authorities recently revealed that a coup attempt against the democratically-elected government had been thwarted.
President Maduro explained that the coup plot was hatched in the United States with the support of staff at the U.S. embassy in Caracas. Many significant opposition figures are alleged to have ties to the coup plot, including opposition mayor Antonio Ledezma, who was arrested in February.
Falam de caos econômico, corrupção, respeito aos direitos humanos aqueles que foram cúmplices de desaparecimentos, torturas e privatizações criminosas.
O debate é muito útil em momentos no qual o assédio à Venezuela recomeça, no marco de um prolongado processo de golpe contínuo que já dura quase 14 anos, e no qual se destaca o papel estelar dos meios de comunicação hegemônico, com libreto cartelizado de mentiras e manipulações, repetido em diferentes idiomas.
Hoje a direita trata de impor o imaginário de que a Venezuela é uma ditadura e que, por conseguinte, deve ser expulsa do Mercado Comum do Sul (Mercosul).
Eles estão conscientes de que não conseguirão o que propõem, mas sua estratégia é criar esse imaginário. No dia 26 de fevereiro, o jornal venezuelano El Nacional anunciava que os parlamentares direitistas argentinos Roberto Pradines, Mario Negri, Patricia Bullrich e Sergio Bergman, todos membros da Comissão do Mercosul, disseram que a prisão do prefeito Antonio Ledesma “afeta a democracia no país” e, como consequência, solicitarão a ativação do Protocolo de Ushuaia sobre compromisso democrático.
E pediram a presença, na Venezuela, de uma Comissão do Observatório da Democracia do Parlamento do Mercosul (Parlasul), com o objetivo de suspender sua participação no bloco regional. A esse coro se somaram alguns parlamentares da direita uruguaia.
Cabe aqui recordar que o Protocolo de Ushuaia estabelece como único pressuposto para sua aplicação a ruptura da ordem democrática em algum dos países do Mercosul. E prevê que, uma vez esgotada a instância de consultas dos Estados entre si e com o Estado afetado, e em caso de que estas resultem infrutíferas, será possível passar à aplicação de medidas de sanção.
Mas tanto o período de consultas quanto as eventuais sanções devem ser decididas pelos presidentes, por consenso (e não por legisladores vociferantes, minoritários nos parlamentos de seus países).
E mais: não existe na Venezuela a ruptura da ordem democrática, e a grande maioria dos países latino-americanos e caribenhos expressaram apoio ao governo de Nicolás Maduro.
As instituições democráticas venezuelanas, isto é, todos os seus poderes públicos se encontram legitimados e em pleno exercício de suas funções – em especial, a Assembleia Nacional.
Por outro lado, o Observatório da Democracia do Parlasul, desde sua criação em 2008, limitou sua atuação no acompanhamento dos processos eleitorais nos países do Mercosul e nos estados associados. Envolver o observatório em processos que implicam a avaliação (ou supervisão) política o transformaria em um instrumento de ingerência e abriria um precedente perigoso para a integração que se caracteriza por conseguir a unidade da diversidade.
O regulamento do observatório estabelece que haverá um Conselho de Representantes (com três parlamentares por país) e coordenado pelo presidente do Parlasul. Atualmente, a presidência do Parlasul é exercida pela Venezuela. Mas qualquer decisão sobre eventuais sanções depende da vontade consensual dos presidentes, e não da vociferação de alguns parlamentares com intenções desestabilizadoras e atentatórias contra a integração.
As razões Toda essa ofensiva tem sua razão: a direita nunca esteve tão fraca em nossa região, e prova disso é que perde sucessivamente as eleições em países como Brasil, Argentina, Uruguai, Bolívia, Equador, Venezuela e El Salvador. Foi desalojada de governos que acreditava ser sua propriedade. E continuam sem entender as transformações sociais, a recuperação do papel do Estado, a ativa participação nos processos integradores, sua independência dos ditados de Washington.
A debilidade das direitas é clara: seus ícones estão em crise institucional e de legitimidade. O Chile, com as consequências da privatização; México, como exemplo de como um TLC dissolve o Estado; Colômbia, com a legitimação paramilitar; Peru, que acaba oferecendo seu território como base naval norte-americana...
Essas direitas não se resignam ao fato de governos populares resgataram seus povos dos desastres produzidos pelas ditaduras cívico-militares e pelos governos neoliberais.
Os governos neoliberais não apenas fracassaram, mas manifestam uma patética incapacidade de formular propostas alternativas, dedicando-se a sabotar os processos desses países, desestabilizar governos, apostar no caos e, inclusive, servir – como paus mandados – aos propósitos e interesses antinacionais dos bancos transnacionais, das empresas transnacionais, à geopolítica norte-americana na região.
Emir Sader observa que as direitas argentina e brasileira têm enormes similaridades, porque ambas se reorganizaram em torno dos mais importantes governos populares que esses países tiveram no século XX: os de Perón e de Getúlio Vargas. Por isso, são direitas elitistas, oligárquicas, racistas, antinacionais. É a direita que tentou derrubar Vargas em 1954 e o levou ao suicídio. É a que derrubou Perón em 1955 e levou a Argentina a iniciar o ciclo das ações militares gorilas na região.
É a direita que finalmente deu o golpe no Brasil em 1964 e instaurou a mais longa ditadura militar na região. É a mesma direita que tentou fazer o mesmo em 1966 na Argentina, mas viu seu golpe frustrado. Teve que voltar à ativa em 1976 para fechar o círculo de terror das ditaduras no Cone Sul, acrescenta Sader.
Falam do perigo de caos econômico, de corrupção, de respeito aos direitos humanos aqueles que foram cúmplices e coparticipantes de desaparecimentos, torturas, assassinatos e da maior corrupção na história dos países – especialmente, nos processos de privatização dos bens e empresas públicos. Ameaçam com golpes: duros, brandos, midiáticos.
Os golpistas de hoje apelam aos militares para que estes desalojem do poder um governo, fechem o Congresso, proíbam os partidos políticos e os movimentos populares. Seu discurso é que são justamente os governantes aqueles que violam a Constituição e que, por isso, é preciso destituí-los, tal como aconteceu em Honduras com Manuel Zelaya e no Paraguai com Fernando Lugo.
E não precisam de tanques ou de Forças Armadas. Usam seu novo armamento, o terror midiático cartelizado regional e internacional.
UNASUR previously expressed its support for democracy in Venezuela against extremists seeking to oust the government.
The Union of South American Nations will continue to monitor the internal situation involving the Venezuelan government and right-wing opposition, accused of seeking to overthrow the elected government, in order to help ensure both democracy in the country and peace in the region, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Monday.
In an interview with RTS television station, Patiño said that UNASUR already played a similar role in February last year when the organization supported efforts to bring an end to the wave of right-wing political violence in Venezuela in which 43 people were killed.
“There is the will, the decision and the capacity of the Venezuelan government to face this and also of its people to defend democracy,” Patiño said.
Meanwhile, Uruguay, in its capacity of pro tempore presidency of UNASUR, has brought forward the fact-finding mission of members to Venezuela, “to evaluate the evolution of the facts in the country.” It follows revelations of a coup plot against the elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.
The government of Uruguay's President Jose Mujica's released a statement confirming that it is “carrying out all efforts necessary so that the commission made up of councilors from Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador travel briefly to Caracas to meet with President Maduro, in agreement with the invitation that he offered in the meeting in Montevideo on Feb. 9, 2015, which was made with the aim of accompanying a process of dialogue.”
Ahead of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) scheduled for April 27 to May 22, 2015 in New York, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has expressed a clear vision for the future of nuclear disarmament.
The 33-member CELAC formally endorsed at its third annual summit in San José on January 28-29 the ‘Austrian Pledge’ delivered at the close of the Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (HINW) last December in Vienna.
The Austrian Pledge, delivered by Secretary-General of Austria’s Foreign Ministry Michael Linhart on December 9, 2014 explained that the facts and findings of the Vienna Conference – as well as previous HINW conferences held in Oslo, Norway, on March 4-5, 2013 and Nayarit, Mexico, on February 13-14, 2014 – had shown that more diplomatic action was needed.
The Austrian Pledge recognised the existence of a “legal gap” in the international framework regulating nuclear weapons and called on all states to join in efforts to fill this legal gap by pursuing measures, which would stigmatise, prohibit and lead to the elimination of nuclear weapons.
While delivering the Austrian Pledge, Linhart also called on “nuclear weapons possessor states” to take “concrete interim measures to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons detonations, including reducing the operational status of nuclear weapons and moving nuclear weapons away from deployment into storage, diminishing the role of nuclear weapons in military doctrines, and rapid reductions of all types of nuclear weapons.”
The heads of state of CELAC countries issued a declaration at their third annual summit on January 28-29 in San José, Costa Rica, fully supporting the outcomes of the Vienna conference. In doing so, CELAC became the first regional group of states to recognise that a treaty banning nuclear weapons is the best option to fill the legal gap:
“As has been demonstrated by the testimonies of survivors and evidence and scientific data, nuclear weapons constitute a serious threat to security, development of peoples and civilization in general. Being consistent with our declarations, in this purpose we reiterate our strong support to call made in Vienna and Nayarit to initiate a diplomatic negotiation process of an internationally legally binding instrument for the prohibition nuclear weapons.”
Commenting the San José declaration, Carlos Umaña of the Costa Rican branch of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) said: “With the CELAC Declaration, Latin American and Caribbean states have recognised they intend to remain at the forefront of efforts which bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons. The Treaty of Tlatelolco, which established a nuclear weapons free zone across the region, was the first multilateral treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in a region — now Latin American and Caribbean states intend to work to promote a similar process that bans nuclear weapons internationally.”
According to the Ploughshares Fund, Russia, United States, France, China, Britain (five permanent members of the UN Security Council) and Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea possess a total of 16,300 nuclear weapons. “Of these, around 4,100 warheads are considered operational, of which about 1,800 US and Russian warheads are on high alert, ready for use on short notice,” says the Federation of American Scientists.
While the few nuclear-armed states have dominated the discussions on atomic weapons for decades, the humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons has prompted a fundamental change in this conversation, with non-nuclear armed states leading the way in a discussion on the actual effects of the weapons, notes the Iinternational Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
“The Austrian Pledge is a rallying call for states to demand action to fill an unacceptable legal gap. The momentum generated by the humanitarian initiative is paving the way for the commencement of a process to ban nuclear weapons. CELAC states have added their voices to the call. We expect other regions to do the same,” says Daniel Högsta of ICAN.
Growing support in Britain
There are indications of growing support for banning the bomb in Britain too. ICAN UK and the All Party Group on Weapons and the Protection of Civilians discussed in a parliamentary briefing on January 21 the implications for the UK’s own nuclear weapons.
The meeting came just a day after a parliamentary debate on the renewal of Trident. During the debate, called by the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, many members of parliament (MPs) pointed to the catastrophic risk of nuclear weapons due to intentional and accidental detonation.
The Labour Party’s Katy Clarke noted that the abandonment of Trident would not only be a significant symbolic step towards nuclear disarmament, but would also have a significant impact internationally.
Another Labour Party MP Paul Flynn pointed out that the continued possession of nuclear weapons by certain states also tacitly encourages other states to maintain and develop their own, thereby actively thwarting disarmament efforts.
Other speakers during the debate also noted that, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the UK has an obligation to pursue nuclear disarmament in good faith, and this obligation should be met by a nuclear weapons ban. “It is high time the Government stated their support for a new legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons that would complement our disarmament commitment under Article 6 of the non-proliferation treaty”, said Scottish National Party MP Angus Robertson.
Many at the meeting agreed that now – after the Vienna Conference and before the NPT Review at the UN headquarters in New York – is the time to push through the agenda.
Article VI of the 1970 NPT obliges all Parties to the Treaty to undertake “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”. This is the world’s only legally binding obligation on Nuclear Weapons States to reduce and ultimately eliminate their nuclear weapons. At the 2000 NPT Review Conference, State Parties to the Treaty agreed on ” 13 practical steps” to meet their disarmament commitments.
These include entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), moratorium on nuclear-weapon test explosions pending the CTBT taking effect, and negotiating in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) a non-discriminatory, multilateral and effectively verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) within five years. FMCT would prohibit the production of the two main components of nuclear weapons: highly-enriched uranium (HEU), and plutonium.Fonte: http://www.eurasiareview.com/15022015-growing-support-moving-away-nuclear-weapons-analysis/
A special commission of the two largest associations of Latin American nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC, which includes all of the Latin America and the Caribbean) and Union of South American Nations(UNASUR, which represents South American countries) met to discuss US attacks on Venezuelan democracy in a February 11 meeting.
Held in Montevideo, Uruguay, to analyse the relationship between the United States and Venezuela as well as the situation inside Venezuela, the joint commission was convened at the request of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The commission includes the foreign ministers of Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil, as well as UNASUR secretary general Ernesto Samper.
Early indications are that this broad-based association is calling for the US to cease interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela; for the start of a US–Venezuela dialogue, and for Venezuela's government to resume a dialogue inside Venezuela.
This call is the latest in a series of statements of solidarity with Caracas and rejecting US meddling in the internal affairs of Latin American nations that have been issued by regional political and economic associations, as well as social movements.
On February 9, Council on Hemispheric Affairs Larry Birns noted: “Washington is basically being berated by Latin America for its campaign to pressure and to otherwise weigh-in against the region’s sovereignty and its inalienable right to conduct its own economic and political policies according to its own writ.
“It appears that Washington believes it can carve away, in silence, the rest of Latin America, including Cuba, from Venezuela. But the statements coming out of UNASUR and CELAC should serve as a strong reminder that Latin American unity remains intact.”
The UNASUR commission has convened at a time of increasing US belligerency towards the Maduro administration in the form of sanctions, unsubstantiated bids to criminalise and delegitimise the government, and increases in soft-power funding to opposition groups inside Venezuela.
In response to the expanded sanctions imposed by Washington against Caracas, Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said in a February 3 statement that Venezuela deplores US measures that “continue violating the principles of national sovereignty, equal rights and non-interference in the internal affairs inherent in international law”.
There is an urgent sense within the “Chavista” camp, as the mass revolutionary movement led by the Maduro government is known, that with a divided right-wing opposition inside Venezuela, foreign interference will be stepped up.
This view is shared by others. At a February 4 meeting between Maduro and Samper, the UNASUR secretary general said: “I want to reiterate publicly that the position of UNASUR that is in its charter … is absolutely clear and unequivocal in pointing out that any attempt at destabilisation that is brought about against a democracy or attempt to destabilise a government can count on the unanimous rejection of the countries of the South.”
At the Montevideo meeting, Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patino said, on behalf of the commission: “[It is] absolutely illegal for the US to impose and activate new sanctions against officials of the Venezuelan government.”
The commission expressed concern that Washington’s attack against Venezuela would be perceived as giving the green light to the more violent elements of the Venezuelan opposition.
There was also a comparison made between the mounting assault on the state from both inside and outside the country and the events leading up to the 2002 US-backed coup that briefly ousted then-president Hugo Chavez.
The UNASUR commission meeting comes one year after the so called “exit now” strategy was waged by elements of the US-backed opposition. This campaign pushed for regime change and led to violent street demonstrations in some middle- and upper-class neighbourhoods.
The UNASUR meeting is being held just months before parliamentary elections in Venezuela that will help determine the future direction of the nation's political and economic policies.
The Maduro administration has been under huge pressure to resolve serious consumer product shortages, bring inflation under control, and address the erosion of salaries in the face of currency devaluation.
These problems are worsened by the fall in oil prices that has dramatically cut Venezuela’s export income. Maduro has stepped up enforcement of anti-hoarding laws and calls for the acceleration of domestic agricultural production.
The government says shortages are largely the result of an economic war being waged by some key elements of the business sector that would like to finish the Bolivarian socialist project. Speculators are also accused of diverting products from store shelves into warehouses or transporting goods into Colombia where they fetch much higher prices than governmental legal prices.
As Maduro pushes back against hoarding and speculation, and commits to continuing the social missions introduced by Chavez a decade earlier, a divided opposition is pushing for market-oriented reforms.
These include removing price controls on some basic goods, repealing pro-worker laws and a rise in provision of dollars for use in importing goods at preferential exchange rates.
Maduro, however, is holding firm to the legacy of Chavez in pushing the socialist project, though he has also faced criticism from the Chavista left, who sometimes charge him with moving too slowly in this direction.
On the international level there are many unknowns about the struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico. This often leads to simplistic ideas and criticisms about the Puerto Rican struggle, at times even negative ones without any understanding of the complexity of a struggle that for over a century has been waged within the limits of life in a colony.
It is a struggle that has cost many lives in U.S.-perpetrated massacres and murders, long incarcerations in the prisons of the empire, frame-up charges, accusations and dossiers (collecting information about persons involved in political organizations related to independence), constant monitoring by local and federal agencies, along with the continuous harassment of pro-independence activists.
By imposing colonial status, the U.S. empire committed a crime against humanity, which not only robs Puerto Rico’s workforce, resources and sovereignty, but tries to strip its people of their own history and Afro-Taíno-Caribbean identity. Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence has been an uphill battle. It remains one.
This is true even within the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), an organization whose goal is to unite in action every country of the Americas and isolate them from the interference of U.S. and Canadian imperialism. It was not until CELAC’s recent Jan. 28 summit, its third since CELAC was founded in 2011 at the initiative of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, that there was an active presence of Puerto Rican independence fighters.
We remember that at the CELAC Summit of 2011 in Caracas, the Puerto Rican band Calle 13, along with famous Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, opened the conference with the Puerto Rican song “Latinoamérica.” However, there was no seat at the summit then for the Puerto Rican nation.
U.S. strategy has always been to isolate Puerto Rico and its struggles from its neighbors. For decades, Puerto Rico was seen as a U.S. appendage, separated from the Latin American and Caribbean context. That’s what makes what happened on Jan. 28, the first day of the meeting of heads of state, so important.
The theme of this year’s summit, held in Costa Rica, was “Latin America, free of extreme poverty.” Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega emphasized that CELAC should continue its progressive policies and stay alert against U.S. conspiracies. He gave as an example the continuing blockade of Cuba and the destabilization plans against Venezuela. Then Ortega used his platform to call upon the leader of the Puerto Rican Independence party, Rubén Berrios, saying: “Come, Rubén, finish my talk!”
Berrios then explained the need for CELAC to act in solidarity with Puerto Rico’s independence and for the release of pro-independence political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, who has spent 34 years in prison.
When Berrios finished, the president of Costa Rica and host of the event, Luis Guillermo Solís, reprimanded Ortega for not following the “procedures” of the summit. Ortega replied, “You bring up procedures,” but “you decided to give the floor to the OAS, the instrument of Yankee colonialism.” Ortega then said, “Puerto Rico’s voice is Nicaragua’s voice.” A few days later, Ortega appointed Berrios as advisor to Nicaragua on decolonization.
This incident, together with disagreements among some countries over whether to support independence for Puerto Rico, reveals the hidden hand of U.S. imperialism trying to intervene in this forum. In fact, as there was no mandatory consensus, the final declaration adopted regarding Puerto Rico was the same as at the 2014 summit in Havana: “To reiterate the Latin American and Caribbean character of Puerto Rico and to take note of the resolutions on Puerto Rico adopted by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations, we reiterate that this is a matter of interest for CELAC.”
However, the wall of silence about Puerto Rico was broken, at least partially, when the discussion between Ortega and Solís was widely covered by international media — in the United States only CNN reported something. The struggle for independence is now part of the tasks of CELAC, when Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador — whose President Rafael Correa will preside in CELAC the next year — endorsed the proposal to include the demand for sovereignty for Puerto Rico.
Crisis in Puerto Rico
The reality of the great social, financial and economic crisis the Puerto Rican government is undergoing right now gives this incident a special meaning. This crisis has been caused not by the misguided policies of the current government, which are in fact enormous, but by Puerto Rico’s colonial status, with the consequent lack of sovereignty to solve problems for the benefit of its people.
The list of the huge problems facing the country is long; prominent among them is privatization of public agencies and services, the high cost of living, rising unemployment, violence caused mostly by the increase in illicit drug commerce, and a huge public debt, which according to a lengthy report in the Feb. 5 El Nuevo Día, exceeds $160 billion. Add to this the bleeding of the population, which is migrating to the United States, most of them at the most productive ages, that is, 20 to 44 years old. According to El Nuevo Día, in 2013 some 73,000 people left Puerto Rico, mostly migrating to southern states in the U.S. At the same time, the government of Puerto Rico is giving incentives to wealthy U.S. businessmen to move to Puerto Rico.
The Feb. 6 New York Times article entitled, “While the middle class flees, Puerto Rico tries to attract rich people,” illustrates one of the erroneous policies of the local government. Using the pretext that its policy will bring in investors and jobs, the government’s steps basically will result in the replacement of the population — very similar to what happened in Hawai’i. This article arouses great anger among those who know that thousands of Puerto Ricans are driven to leave the island precisely by the lack of jobs and the high cost of living. This substitution has already caused extremely negative political and social outcomes in Culebra, Vieques and the Big Island (Puerto Rico).
That is why the anti-colonial struggle needs international solidarity more than ever. Berrios said, as he finished: “It is the Puerto Ricans’ responsibility to bring about independence; to Latin America and the Caribbean, however, belongs the task of showing solidarity with our right to independence and our demand to the U.S. to put an end to colonialism.”
CELAC and the EU are holding a two-day meeting to review the social and economic impact of narcotics in their respective regions.
The European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began high-level meetings Wednesday where 142 representatives will participate in the two-day conference in order to discuss recent developments of the drug situation in their respective regions.
Policy makers will also meet to examine the social and economic impact of drug use and nacrotrafficking in their respective regions. They will palso propose policies such as alternative development models and prevention programs for vulnerable groups.
Meanwhile, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) officially committed Tuesday to create a South American drug observatory, which will act as a regional database system containing information on drug trafficking.
UNASUR General-Secretary Ernesto Samper highlighted the importance of the Observatory for South America and for UNASUR stating, “The network will function as a platform through which all countries can be informed regarding narcotic activity in the region.”
Samper, who attended a meeting of the South American Drug Council in Montevideo, Uruguay, indicated the legal reforms would not be of a radical nature, saying, "We cannot leap from prohibition to legalization."
During the meeting, Unasur proposed several initiatives, which included a crop substitution program to replace the current policy, added Samper.
The Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (The Union of South American Nations—UNASUR) and the Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina (Latin American Development Bank—CAF) announced plans on Tuesday to develop thefirst fiber optic cable exclusively financed by Latin American institutions.
The creation of the proposed Red de Conectividad Suramericana para la Integración(South American Connectivity Network for Integration) could reduce South America’s reliance on foreign businesses for the infrastructure needed to connect to the Internet, subsequently lowering costs of access as well as increasing connectivity speeds.
UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper explained in a press conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, that Internet speed in South America is significantly slower than in other countries because of the challenges of broadband connectivity in the region, causing prices to surge up to 20 times higher than in developed countries.
There are an estimated 22.3 million Internet users in Latin America, accounting for 54.7 percent of the region’s population. Samper expressed concern about the digital divide in South America, stating that “one who is not connected is lost” and that Latin America “needs to generate value added processes and create autonomous communications highways to strengthen its independence and cyber defenses.”
CAF has pledged an initial investment of 1.5 million dollars for the first phase of the project, which will involve an in-depth analysis of the current Internet technologies in each South American country to determine how they will incorporate existing cables into the future fiber optic grid. The vice president of CAF, Antonio Sosa, stated that the study would focus on demographics, technical issues and institutional framework in each country.
Latin American regional bodies back the oil-rich nation against U.S. tactics; some warn they are designed to provoke regime change.
The U.S. Department of State imposed a second round of financial sanctions in February. These included visa restrictions on Venezuelan government officials, whom the U.S. accuses of human rights violations in relation to last year’s wave of right-wing violent protests.
The U.S. went ahead with the sanctions, despite a unanimous declarationrejecting U.S interference in the region at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Heads of State Summit in Costa Rica in January.
CELAC, which brings together all 33 Latin America and Caribbean nations and is, in many ways, an alternative to the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States, expressed its “strong repudiation of the application of unilateral coercive measures that are contrary to international law.”
Similarly, in December, after an earlier round of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, the heads of states of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), which includes Brazil and Argentina, expressed “their profound rejection of the law that applies sanctions” against Venezuela and expressed “firm support and solidarity with the government and the Venezuelan people.”
The Presidents labelled these a violation of “the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries and do not contribute to stability, social peace and democracy in Venezuela.”
February’s fresh round of unilateral sanctions also sparked outrage throughout the region. It prompted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to meet with Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Secretary General Ernesto Samper, to ask for the regional bloc's mediation on the interventionist actions carried out against the country by the United States.
President Maduro said that other regional leaders had informed him that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden had been pressing other countries to “isolate” Venezuela. Maduro also said he had proof that the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela was attempting to bribe officials in order to turn them against his government.
As a result, a special commission, comprised of the foreign ministers of Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador, met with Samper and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, during which they criticized U.S. interference in Venezuela, saying it put regional stability at risk. The foreign ministers also agreed to work in support of the establishment of a direct dialogue between Caracas and Washington.
Following the meeting, Samper expressed concern regarding the unilateral sanctions carried out by the U.S., and requested that Uruguay — the blocs’ pro-tempore leader — convene an extraordinary meeting of the UNASUR foreign ministers, which is expected to take place in February.
Previous emergency meetings of UNASUR foreign ministers have been reserved for extreme crises and serious threats to regional security. The most recent emergency meeting was convoked in July 2013, when several European countries closed their airspace to the presidential aircraft of Bolivian president Evo Morales, who was accused of harboring National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Following the earlier round of U.S. sanctions, UNASUR member states met late December condemned U.S. sanctions which they stated, “infringes the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States”.
In the latest sign of support from Latin American and Caribbean nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) group of nations expressed Tuesday its “firm and strong opposition to the imposition of unilateral measures by the government of the United States, against the government and the Venezuelan people.”
The 11-nation regional body labelled the U.S. move an attempt toward regime change, and part of wider U.S activities “destabilizing the Bolivarian government in order to achieve its overthrow, or a change in its political regime chosen by the people.”
ALBA offered its support to ending any divisions between the two nations, and offered “to promote constructive dialogue on equal terms between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the United States of America.”
Such regional backing for Venezuela looks set to continue with Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño announcing that his country will host a meeting in the coming days with the foreign ministers from CELAC countries to discuss the situation in Venezuela and to review the evidence presented by President Maduro.
As Latin America goes through its second fight for independence — first from Spain, now from the United States — its regional integration bodies are playing an important role in defusing crises, interventions and and threats towards the region stemming from the dominant power in the North.
Billion dollar trade deal will open up investments between Beijing and South America, but will it promote green growth?
China is now a major creditor, investor, and trade partner across the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
Chinese-CELAC trade has accelerated rapidly and China recently replaced the European Union as the second largest market for CELAC exports.
Between 2000 and 2013, trade in goods between Latin America and the Caribbean and China increased from around US$12 billion to nearly US$275 billion.
This trade and investment is overwhelmingly concentrated in natural resources and energy such as oil, copper and soybeans.
Following the newly created China-CELAC Forum last January, countries agreed to aim to reach US$500 billion of bilateral trade and US$250 billion of Chinese direct investment to the region over the next decade.
Below the team at the Brown University Climate and Development Lab explore how this could impact low carbon development on the continent.
Why are Chinese-CELAC relations for climate change?
The rapidly expanding economic, commercial and political ties between China and Latin America have far reaching implications for the global effort to confront climate change.
Together, China and CELAC account for roughly 36% (China 27% / CELAC 9%) of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
The world’s ability to stay below a global average temperature increase of two degrees will rest in part on the willingness of these countries to reduce their emissions and shift to low-emission economies.
China’s considerable presence in the region, like those of other major powers in the region, tends to focus on high-carbon activities including fossil fuel extraction, large-scale agriculture and energy intensive industries.
CELAC countries’ exports to China have a higher concentration of greenhouse gas emissions than exports to other regions.
China’s activities in Latin America which tend to focus on high-carbon activities may be entrenching high carbon development pathways in Latin America.
Chinese investments and imports of Latin American commodities may be strengthening the relative power of political and commercial domestic constituencies and of “dirty” ministries (e.g. ministries of mining or energy) in relation to environment and climate change ministries.
These actors are less inclined to promote an ambitious climate agenda compared to ministries of environment which are traditionally marginalized in the region.
China may thus be inadvertently undermining CELAC countries’ attempts to advance climate change policies by reinforcing and strengthening actors within those countries that regard action on climate change as an impediment to growth.
What does the new China-CELAC Cooperation Plan call for?
The China-CELAC 2015-2019 Cooperation Plan covers various topics including trade, investment, infrastructure, energy, agriculture and science.
The Plan calls for cooperation on advancing the international climate negotiations and strengthening and investment on renewable energy such as solar and wind power.
However, despite these official plans the level of cooperation on climate change and low carbon development between China and Latin America is currently minimal.
What are the opportunities for China-CELAC to cooperate on climate change?
The China-CELAC Forum has the potential to be a transformative platform to reverse the high-carbon partnership between Latin America and China, and boost low-carbon development.
China and CELAC could promote cooperation on renewable energy and capitalize on the emerging international ecosystem for climate finance led in part by China.
There is remarkable potential for China and CELAC to cooperate on renewable energy.
China’s growing domestic renewable energy market and influence in exporting technology to global renewable energy markets presents excellent opportunities to invest in clean energy in CELAC.
The conditions in CELAC for renewable energy are encouraging with over a dozen countries having established renewable energy targets.
Could it mean more money for green investments?
The ongoing evolution of the global financial architecture is likely to have far-reaching implications for Chinese-CELAC relations.
For example, China is working with other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) countries to establish a New Development Bank (NDB) with $50 billion in initial capital to fund infrastructure projects.
The NDB will finance infrastructure and “sustainable development” projects in the BRICS countries initially, but eventually other developing countries will also be eligible to apply for funds.
This is particularly relevant for CELAC where countries need to develop their energy infrastructure, improve access to energy while developing plans for low carbon development.
How the New Development Bank interact with or work alongside the Green Climate Fund for instance, will have implications for CELAC as they seek to attract finance for implementation of their “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs).
China is making positive progress on the green finance agenda, which is already generating valuable lessons for CELAC that are facing similar challenges to China in building a financial system that supports the transition to a low carbon and sustainable economy.
How could relations between China and CELAC impact the UN climate talks?
The UN climate negotiations this year are charged with creating a new global agreement.
All countries, including China and those from CELAC, are invited to put forward their INDCs by March.
Taking into account the current nature of Chinese-CELAC relations, greater focus on climate change through the China-CELAC Forum could prove significant for whether CELAC countries put forward ambitious or modest INDCs.
Renewable energy cooperation between China and CELAC if generously scaled could enhance both actors’ role at the UN climate negotiations given the focus on shifting from carbon intensive fossil fuels to renewable energy in order to keep alive the goal of staying under 2 degrees of warming.
CELAC should use the China-CELAC Forum to engage China on taking action on climate change within their bilateral partnerships and ensure that Chinese-CELAC relations positively contribute to global efforts to create an ambitious and equitable global climate agreement.