Brazil is once again part of Celac; understand what the regional block is

Two years after leaving the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), Brazil will once again join the regional bloc, made up of 32 other countries. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty), the decision was announced to the representatives of the member countries this Thursday (5).

The measure was also communicated to the governments of countries and groups of nations with which Celac has relations, such as the European Union, China, India, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the African Union.

Still according to the Itamaraty, the Brazilian return to Celac will occur “in a full and immediate way, to all instances of the mechanism [de concertação regional]both those of a political nature and those of a technical nature”.

Brazil‘s return to the Latin American community of States is an indispensable step towards the recomposition of our diplomatic heritage and for the country’s full reinsertion into the international community”, sustained the Itamaraty, in a note.

Historic

Celac was founded in February 2010, with the direct participation of Brazil, which, still in 2018, hosted the 1st Summit of Latin American and Caribbean Countries, bringing together representatives of the 33 countries (including Brazil) that would integrate Celac to discuss a regional integration project.

Since its creation, Celac has promoted meetings on various topics of interest to Latin American and Caribbean nations, such as education, social development, culture, transport, infrastructure and energy, in addition to having spoken on behalf of the entire group on the occasion of issues discussed globally, such as nuclear disarmament, climate change and the issue of drugs, among others.

In January 2020, the government headed by former President Jair Bolsonaro decided to suspend Brazilian participation in the group. The measure was announced by the then chancellor, Ernesto Araújo. On his personal Twitter account, the minister justified the measure by stating that “CELAC has not been having results in the defense of democracy or in any area. On the contrary, it gave rise to non-democratic regimes such as those in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua”. The end of the US blockade of Cuba is a historic demand of the bloc.

Diplomacy

The decision to reintegrate Brazil into CELAC is part of the project to “restore Brazilian diplomacy” and rebuild bridges with South American countries, announced by President Lula during the last election campaign.

Already elected, Lula traveled to Egypt, where he participated in COP27, the United Nations Climate Conference. On the occasion, he said that Brazil is “back”, referring to the desire to assume global leadership. Shortly afterwards, Lula announced that his first international trip as president will be to Argentina, where he will participate in the CELAC Summit, scheduled for the end of January.

According to Chancellor Mauro Vieira, Lula intends to implement a policy of rebuilding bridges, first of all with South American neighbors, restoring all contact and negotiation mechanisms, and also with Latin America in general.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News