BUENOS AIRES ( Associated Press) – Under a call for greater regional integration, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) celebrates its seventh summit in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, a forum marked by Brazil’s reinvention and ideological differences and political crisis. Is. Which affects many South American countries.
Inaugurating the meeting with representatives from 33 countries, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez affirmed that “the time has come to make Latin America and the Caribbean a single region that protects common interests” and progress for its residents. To get.
The president gave an account of the initiatives taken by his government during the year 2022, in which he holds the temporary presidency of CELAC, and stressed that he “takes the voice of Latin America to all corners of the world.”
Fernandez celebrated Brazil’s return to the political stage under three-term President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after his predecessor, right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, pushed the country away three years ago, alleging it had become a stage It gave prominence to the leftist and “authoritarian” governments of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
“A CELAC without Brazil is a very empty CELAC,” Fernandez said.
The Platform for Political Accord was born in 2011 on the initiative of Hugo Chávez, the then Venezuelan President, to disassociate himself from the Organization of American States (OAS), after he and other left-wing leaders declared their “alignment” with the United inquired for. states.
Da Silva, a historic leftist leader who returned to power for a third time this month, arrived in Buenos Aires a day before the meeting, which was followed by criticism directed at the Latin American right following violent demonstrations by Bolsonaro supporters that broke out weeks ago. Happened at the headquarters. Legislative, executive and judicial powers of Brasilia.
In this regard, Fernández – a staunch ally of Lula’s in the region – warned that democracy was at risk after the “standing up” of extreme right-wing sectors in some countries and that the “regressive and fascist right” would not be allowed to keep the institution. requested to give In danger.
Fernández referred to the frustrated attack on the Peronists, saying, “We saw it a few days ago when madness reached the streets of Brasilia … and also here in Argentina when someone tried to kill our vice president (Cristina Fernández de Kirchner).” had tried.” Leader on 1 September for which three youths were arrested and prosecuted.
The CELAC meeting comes at a turbulent time in South America, as well as a result of protests by political dissidents in Peru and Bolivia, which Fernandez did not mention.
Peru faced a wave of protests after Pedro Castillo was ousted and jailed in December after Congress was dissolved. More than fifty people have died so far in demonstrations demanding the resignation of Dina Boluaarte in her place.
Protests have also taken place in Bolivia following the arrest in late December of right-wing Luis Fernando Camacho, opposition leader and governor of Santa Cruz province.
Fernández urged “respecting oneself in diversity” in reference to the criticism that the participation of the governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba in the meeting aroused among the Argentine opposition. “All those who are here are elected by their people,” the president said.
He also urged them to “raise their voices” against the economic blockade that the United States imposes on Cuba and Venezuela as “a perverse method” against the people.
The meeting was attended by Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel. His Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro, has rebuffed detention requests from Argentina’s opponents because of an arrest warrant against him in the United States on drug-trafficking charges and forwarded them to his foreign minister.
The President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, did not attend either and sent representatives from his government.