Lacalle reaches the CELAC summit with Lula marking the return of the left to regional leadership

Lacalle reaches the CELAC summit with Lula marking the return of the left to regional leadership


Lacalle Pou participates in the CELAC summit.
Lacalle Pou participates in the CELAC summit.

The Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which will take place in Buenos Aires this Tuesday, will feature the return of Brazil to the organization. The neighboring country returns to the bloc led by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a recognized left-wing leader in the region, after the far-right ex-president, Jair Bolsonaro, removed Brazil from the body during his term.

Lula has expressed his intentions to assume the regional leadership and has already taken some steps in that direction, announcing the project of having a common currency in the region. This position of Lula clashes with the position of the president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, who understands that the partners are empowered to negotiate trade agreements bilaterally. In fact, the government of the Uruguayan right-wing president has been trying to achieve a free trade agreement with China, and enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), walking on the ledge of MERCOSUR’s statutes and regulations.

The CELAC summit will also mark the meeting between Lacalle Pou and the Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel, with whom he had verbal exchanges at the previous meeting held in Mexico in September 2021. In that meeting, Lacalle Pou made a speech denouncing the violations of human rights in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, which generated a response from Díaz-Canel who criticized the Uruguayan president’s “ignorance of reality”.

In summary, the CELAC summit is presented as a stage for Brazil and Uruguay to present their different points of view on regional leadership and trade relations in Latin America, with Lula seeking to strengthen and reinvigorate the South American bloc and Lacalle Pou advocating for the possibility of negotiating trade agreements bilaterally.

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