South American Summit in Brazil: President Maduro to Participate, Boluarte Declines

Orinoco Tribune, May 28, 2023 —

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, was invited to participate in the 2023 South American Summit convened by the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. President Maduro is expected to arrive in Brasilia on May 29. The summit will take place the next day, May 30.

The Brazilian president invited the heads of state of the other 11 countries of the region to participate in the summit: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Peru will be the only South American country that will not be represented by the president at the summit, the Foreign Ministry of Brazil reported on Friday, May 27. The de-facto president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, excused herself by arguing that she cannot leave the country without parliamentary authorization. Peru will be represented by the president of the council of ministers, according to the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

According to analysts, Boluarte might be trying to avoid being questioned for the more than 70 deaths in police and military repression on peaceful protest by humble Peruvians who consider the ousting of President Pedro Castillo as a coup. The coup put Boluarte in power with the help of the Peruvian Congress, something labeled by many as a parliamentary coup d’etat.

The summit, scheduled for May 30, has four main priorities on its agenda: revitalization of South American integration, repositioning South America on the global stage, rethinking South America as a region of peace and cooperation, and the reactivation of UNASUR. The “main objective is to resume dialogue” between the countries of the region “that have not met for many years,” explained Gisela Padovan, secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

The Brazilian government expects the summit to discuss the possibility of “returning to a South American integration mechanism” that will be “permanent, inclusive and modern” and that will include the 12 countries of the region, regardless of the political ideology of the government of any of the countries.

Padovan stressed that the integration mechanism should not be fractured, thus distancing Brazil’s stance from that of organizations promoted in recent years such as Prosur. Prosur and the Pacific Pact, among others, are regional organizations with very limited and ideological scope created under Washington’s pressure to counter UNASUR and CELAC.

Brazil-Venezuela relationship
Relations between Brazil and Venezuela are in a new productive stage with the coming to power of Lula da Silva, in addition to a new wave of progressive governments that have embraced again the dream of unity of the Latin American independence heroes.

Recently, the Venezuelan ambassador to Brazil, Manuel Vadell, presented his credentials to the Brazilian president, which has been described by President Maduro as “a big step.”

The Venezuelan president stated that the appointment of ambassadors “constitutes a new starting point for the consolidation of the union between the two sister nations,” after years of attacks from Brazilian right-wing governments against Venezuela following Washington’s failed “regime change” attempt.

Open format
The summit will take place in a single day, with two sessions, one in the morning in which all the presidents will make opening remarks, and another in the afternoon, which will consist of an “informal” dialogue between the presidents.

This format aims to encourage the presidents to freely exchange ideas, and to identify the “common denominators” that serve as a basis for resuming the integration process of South America, according to the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

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