In a decision that foreign officials consulted considered “very controversial”, the Argentine government resolved do not broadcast the speeches by Jair Bolsonaro, Mario Abdo Benítez and Luis Lacalle Pou this Thursday in their speeches at the Mercosur summit.
Only President Alberto Fernández could be seen speak before his regional partners, at the inauguration of the presidential summit this Thursday, although the Argentines insisted that the non-transmission had been something “agreed” with the rest. There he said that “no one is saved alone” and advocated consensus decisions, but ratifying his position against rushing trade agreements Y to make tariffs more flexible of one of the most closed blocks in the world.
But from the speeches that they did transmit in their respective countries -Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay- it is clearly seen Bolsonaro supporting Lacalle Pou in his intention to start signing extra-zone trade agreements. The Uruguayan president in turn He ratified the surprise announcement on Wednesday after the foreign ministers’ meeting.
Lacalle said, on the one hand, that his country has a “vocation for integration”, but at the same time he ratified that “Uruguay intends to advance with other countries and that does not mean violating the idea of consensus. “
The “violent” thing recalls Fernández’s accusation when the Uruguayan complained that Mercosur should not be a “corset” for its members. Alberto considered him “aggressive” and “out of temper”.
Lacalle Pou introduced this Thursday a claim issue that also promises ridiculousness with Kirchnerism. He asked to start working together with the future of the Paraguay Paraná waterway -one of whose sections cross Brazil and Uruguay- at a time when, under pressure from La Cámpora, the Government nationalized its control.
Bolsonaro, meanwhile, assured: “We cannot let Mercosur continue to be a synonym for inefficiency and wasted opportunities. “
Furthermore, the Brazilian emphasized that “Unfortunately there were no face-to-face meetings”, with a clear message to the Argentine president who, arguing the existence of a pandemic, called meetings just to zoom.
Bolsonaro, who has just taken over the presidency of Mercosur, which Argentina held until Thursday, was emphatic about the idea of working for the “modernization” of Mercosur, regarding its “flexibility” so that free trade agreements can be signed with third countries and regarding the reduction of the common external tariff.
“Brazil is not going to stop in its efforts to modernize its own economy and Mercosur and you want your integration partners to accompany you in the ideals of openness, democracy and freedom, “said the Brazilian.
Even so, the virtual relationship climate that Bolsonaro and Alberto Fernández have was good – each one was seen on a different screen from the Casa Rosada – and there were even jokes. The Brazilian assured that the “only rivalry” between his country and this was soccer and predicted a 5-0 win from Brazil to Argentina in the Copa América match that will face the national teams next Saturday. He even made the gesture with the fingers of his hand.
For his part, Abdo Benitez maintained an intermediate position. During his speech, the President of Paraguay advocated for the maintenance of the “founding principles” of Mercosur, with a “coordinated” external relationship and, if possible, with more “dynamic” measures.
For an internal decision, Mercosur countries cannot sign trade agreements outside the bloc without prior consensus with its partners. On Wednesday there were reproaches for Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for the way in which he announced his extra-zone agreements. But this Thursday, high diplomatic sources trusted Clarion that Itamaraty and the Orientals are “very synchronized”.