President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva apologized to the Argentine people for the events of the previous administration, Jair Bolsonaro, and said he is back to make good deals so that Brazil and Argentina can grow economically. “I’m here to say that today is the resumption of a relationship that should never have ended,” he said.
Lula is on a trip to Argentina, his first international trip after taking office. The visit, at the invitation of President Alberto Fernández, marks the resumption of relations between the two countries, after a period of distance between the governments.
“I am apologizing to the Argentine people for all the rudeness that the last president of Brazil, which I treat as genocidal, because of the lack of responsibility in caring for the pandemic [de covid-19], all the offenses he made to Fernández. A country that has the greatness of Brazil […] you have no right to be looking for enemies. We need to build friends and partners. And that is why I want to say that Brazil is back to welcome its Argentine companions in business, culture, football and in maintaining the friendly relationship that we have had for so many years”, said Lula in a statement after the meeting with Fernández.
According to the Argentine president, in addition to strengthening bilateral relations, Brazil and Argentina have the same understanding of making Mercosur and other instruments more efficient and potentiating, such as the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and the Community of Latin American States and Caribbean (Celac). “And this integration must be implemented in all concepts,” said Fernández, citing, for example, cultural ties.
Tomorrow (24), the seventh summit meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will take place. With the change of government, on January 1st, Brazil is returning to join the group, after three years away from it.
Regarding the presence of the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, at the meeting, the Argentine president pointed out that all countries in the region were invited. Venezuela is experiencing internal political conflicts and is accused of human rights violations.
There was a prediction of a bilateral meeting between Lula and Maduro, but the meeting was cancelled. For Lula, it is necessary that the self-determination of peoples be respected. He is against interference in Venezuela’s political process and said that the country’s problems will be resolved with dialogue.
The president stated that Brazil will restore diplomatic relations with the neighboring country, interrupted during the previous administration. “We want Venezuela to have an embassy in Brazil, for Brazil to have an embassy in Venezuela and to restore the civilized relationship between two autonomous, free and independent states,” said Lula. “Brazil does not want enmity with any country and if we can build agreements within each country, we will help”, he added.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News