Alberto Fernández and Lula da Silva relaunched the strategic link between Argentina and Brazil

President Alberto Fernandez received at Casa Rosada his Brazilian counterpart, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, in what was his first international visit after taking office on January 1st. In the White Room, after an extended meeting, and before a meeting with businessmen from both countries, the two leaders signed an extremely important strategic agreement for the future of the bilateral relationship and the region in which, among other issues , agreed to develop instruments “that increase and facilitate trade without obstacles”, through “common currency”, which would serve, among other issues, to mitigate the shortage of foreign currency. Along these lines, they also said that they intend to create a South American circulation currency in the long term and spoke of the possible financing that Brazil will do for the second tranche of the construction of the Nestor Kirchner pipeline. “We are creating a deep strategic bond that will last for decades to come“said Fernández and spoke of the beginning of” a new stage“. Lula, meanwhile, assured that “we will recover a relationship that should never have been stopped“. In addition, they expressed their intentions to make the mercosur and restart the UNASUR.

The Brazilian president arrived at Casa Rosada around eleven in the morning with his wife, Rosángela da Silva. Fernández and the first lady, Fabiola Yáñez, were waiting for him in the Bustos hall. After that they went up to the office of the president where the ministers of Economy of Argentina joined, Sergio Massaand from Brazil, fernando haddadand the chancellors Santiago Cafiero and Mauro Vieira. The ambassadors were also Daniel Sciolifrom Argentina and Reinaldo Salgado, from Brazil. At another point in the meeting, the strategic relations secretaries, Mercedes Marco del Pontand general secretary, Julio Vitobello. Once that meeting was over, they went to the White Room, where they signed agreements and gave a press conference. There, the Argentine ministers and their Brazilian counterparts signed different declarations related to each of the areas.

“When Argentina and Brazil celebrate 200 years of diplomatic relations We are beginning another stage,” Fernández said to break the ice, after entering the Blanco room with Lula. Minutes before, the first ladies and the officials who were at the extended meeting had entered. Meanwhile, for more than half an hour, all the ministers of both governments had been sitting waiting for them, as well as the chief of staff, Juan Manzur.

Fernandez recalled that “Bolsonaro passed through Brazil and Macri passed through Argentina. And the challenges we have are very similar,” and that “the first challenge is to consolidate democracy and institutions.” “I want you to know dear friend (to Lula) that from Argentina we will always be by your side and we are not going to let any delusional attack democracy and the institutions of Brazil. Our peoples do not want hate, they want freedom and they want dialogue, “he said. Finally, the Argentine president said that”We must also work to organize an energy framework that guarantees the development of our towns. We have talked about the possibility that the gas from Vaca Muerta reaches Brazil, as well as the electricity from Brazil reaching us.”.

Lula, in turn, stressed that “I came back to make good agreements with Argentina, to share the construction of what needs to be builtto help Brazil and Argentina to grow economically so that our towns can have homes, to ensure that our towns can eat at least three times a day, so that our towns can go back to study, work and have access to culture “. Also, He apologized to the Argentine people “for the rude things said by the previous president of Brazil”Referring to Jair Bolsonaro whom he accused of “genocidal”. “He had no right to seek enemies. We need to build friends and partners and that is why I want to affirm that Brazil is once again with open arms to embrace the Argentine comrades“. Lula also got into the electoral field. “I hope that Argentina does not allow the extreme right to win the elections because the extreme right did not work in any country that it governed. I hope that the Argentine people, in their intelligence, do not allow an electoral disaster to happen,” he said.

In the joint declaration signed by both countries, among other things, they dedicated a paragraph to the “irreplaceable role that judicial institutions have in their constitutional regulations as a guarantee of the rights of people against persecution for political reasons and the lawfare“, and stressed that the republican systems of government “need that judicial institutions maintain their independence and impartiality against economic, political and media interests”.

After the press conference, they went to lunch. After eating lamb with salad and toasting, the leaders went to the Bicentennial Museum to participate in a meeting with businessmen from both countries which was organized by the Argentine and Brazilian UIA. The businessmen did not come with Lula on the plane, but rather traveled on their own for the occasion. There were also some governors, like the one from La Rioja, Ricardo Quintelaand CGT trade unionists, such as one of its general secretaries, Hector Daer. Meanwhile, the Human Rights organizations entered Casa Rosada through the courtyard of the palm trees. They could be seen with their canes to the president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, Carlotto’s Stele; to the Mothers of the Founding Line, Taty Almeida and Nora Cortiñas; a Lita Boitano of relatives now Adolfo Perez Esquivelthe Nobel Peace Prize, among others (see separately).

In the meeting with businessmen, Fernández and Lula spoke first and when the rest of the guests began to speak, among them the representatives of the UIA and the Ministers of Economy, the presidents left and went up with other officials to Fernández’s office. Until then, the heads of state had not met alone. Therefore, at that moment, Lula told him that he wanted to talk in private. and the others left to let them talk in peace.

In private, Lula proposed to Fernández to turn the page in the bilateral relationship and invited him to travel to Brazil in June 2023, the month in which the 200 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations are celebrated, Fernández said yes. In July, meanwhile, Lula will return to Argentina for the transfer of the protempore presidency of Mercosur. According to those who participated in the meeting, the meeting between the Brazilian president and the Argentine was “happy.” The last time they had seen each other was on January 2, when Fernández traveled to Lula’s inauguration office in Brasilia and they had a bilateral meeting.

Once they finished the meeting alone, while the economy ministers gave a joint press conference explaining the agreements they had signed and details of the common currency and about the financing for the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline, Lula and AF went to the conference room. the Women to meet there with the human rights organizations. That meeting was one of the most emotional points of the day and lasted more than an hour. At one point Lula told them that everything progressivism in the region had to be very united “because the fascist right cannot advance”, and that they had to continue fighting with their example for memory, truth and justice (see separate).

Once on the Casa Rosada esplanade, the President said goodbye to da Silva who returned to the Sheraton Hotel, where he is staying and where the CELAC summit will be held tomorrow, because he had various bilateral agreements with presidents of the region there. One of them was going to be with the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, who suspended his visit to Argentina (see separate). He met, among others, with the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales. The last activity of the day in which the three presidents –Lula, AF and Evo– were at the CCK, where the Argentine government offered a musical show (see separate).

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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