Caracas (OrinocoTribune.com)—President Gustavo Petro announced the re-entry of Colombia into the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) at the end of the Summit of South American presidents held in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s initiative.
“I have decided to make the country rejoin UNASUR by ratifying the treaty approved by Congress through law and I requested that it be named the Association of South American Nations to guarantee pluralism and permanence over time,” wrote Petro on his social media accounts on Tuesday, May 30.
Analysts were left wondering what Petro meant by emphasizing “pluralism,” and what the significance could be of a name change to UNASUR. Since its inception, UNASUR has been imbued with ideological plurality; this quality was integral to UNASUR’s ability to resolve several regional crises during the second decade of this century.
He decidio reintregar el país a la Unasur ratificando el tratado aprobado por el Congreso a través de ley y he solicitado que se llame Asociación de Naciones Suramericanas para garantizar el pluralismo y la permanencia en el tiempo.
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) May 31, 2023
During the summit, President Lula encouraged the strengthening of the regional organization in order to advance the unity of its participants without having to start from scratch, according to Prensa Latina.
UNASUR emerged in 2008 with the signing of its Constitutive Treaty, which entered into force in 2011 with the aim of building a South American identity and citizenship and developing an integrated region.
In April 2018, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru, governed by right-wing leaders opposed to the integrationist process, decided to suspend their participation in the organization.
For many experts, UNASUR disintegration was not due to lack of plurality but to a premeditated initiative launched by the White House to torpedo the cooperation of South American countries, under the imperialist slogan of “divide and rule.”
Several rulers supported the initiative to revitalize the bloc at the summit held this Tuesday in Brazil.
“Regional unity must be a state policy in each of the South American countries,” wrote Alberto Fernández, president of Argentina, a country deeply penetrated by US and Zionist interests. “Let us learn from our mistakes. It did not help us to be divided. Let us make the operation of UNASUR more agile and be the architects of our destiny.”
For his part, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro , stated that UNASUR should be resumed for the benefit of the region.
At the close of the summit, Maduro said that the world “is changing” and is advancing rapidly towards multipolarity, in which the South American region “cannot be left behind,” as a result of lack of unity.
Petro’s International Conference on Venezuela
President Maduro also announced this Tuesday that he has schedule a visit of a delegation of foreign ministers from the countries that participated in the International Conference on the Political Process in Venezuela, held last April in Colombia under President Petro’s initiative.
— Prensa Presidencial (@PresidencialVen) May 31, 2023
The International Conference on the Political Process in Venezuela was sponsored by Colombia’s President Petro. At least 20 countries participated in it, addressing Venezuela’s political situation and calling for the lifting of sanctions with the goal of resuming the Mexico Talks, paralyzed due to the US and the Venezuelan opposition’s delegates failure to comply with the agreements reached in it.
“We must revive the spirit of the dialogue in Bogotá, where 20 countries attended,” President Maduro said. “To keep it alive. Soon, I will receive a group of foreign ministers from the countries participating in the dialogue who will bring me a message.”
The Venezuelan president added that his Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Petro, is strongly committed to Venezuela and has become a guarantor of the progress of the dialogue with the far-right Venezuelan opposition. Currently, the right-wing opposition in Venezuela is struggling to overcome internal divisions in order to hold primaries to select a candidate for the country’s 2024 presidential elections.
Orinoco Tribune Special by staff