South America: Argentina and Brazil look to rekindle ties

The two large South American countries Argentina and Brazil want to revive their relations and deepen trade.

South America: Argentina and Brazil look to rekindle ties

The two large South American countries Argentina and Brazil want to revive their relations and deepen trade. "Today is the resumption of a relationship that should never have been broken off," Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, after meeting with his colleague Alberto Fernández.

Another topic of their conversation was the strengthening of the South American confederation of states Mercosur - ie Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. In addition, both thought aloud about a common currency called "Sur" (South).

The visit to neighboring Argentina is Lula's first trip abroad since taking office on January 1st. The left-wing politician is thus taking up a diplomatic tradition that his predecessor, the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, broke with a trip to Chile, then ruled by conservative President Sebastián Piñera. Referring to Bolsonaro, Lula also apologized for "the rudeness of Brazil's previous president," whom he called a "genocide" for his omissions in the coronavirus pandemic.

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, also wants to play a leading role in the region again. It was questionable whether a short-term meeting between Lula and the authoritarian governing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro would take place. Participation in the Summit of Heads of State of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) in Buenos Aires also marks Brazil's return to the regional alliance.

Under Bolsonaro, who had largely isolated the country internationally, Brazil left Celac. In total, more than 20 heads of state, numerous representatives of international organizations and EU Council President Charles Michel are expected. Originally, Maduro was also supposed to attend, as was Cuba's President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

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