Six South American nations suspend participation UNASUR regional bloc due to US pressure

by ZOE

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela responded to the announcement: “the regional right wing leaders allow themselves to be pressured by the US.

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru announced this week that they would indefinitely suspend their participation in the meetings of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). In a joint letter sent to the Bolivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fernando Huanacuni Mamani , who assumed the pro tempore presidency of UNASUR on April 17. They stated that their withdrawal was related to the lack of secretary general of UNASUR, though it happened just 2 days after Bolivia assumed presidency. Taking into account which governments have sent the letter, the move can be seen as another move by the growing neoconservative block in Latin America to break away at the projects of Latin American integration and move closer to the agenda of the United States.

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela responded to their announcement: “the regional right wing leaders allow themselves to be pressured by the US. I hope they have a little bit of South American consciousness. UNASUR deserves to be defended and although some try and wound it and leave it to bleed to death, today it is in the hands of the people”.

UNASUR was officially founded in 2008 in Brasilia to be a space of coordinated action and political and economic coordination between 12 governments in South America. Its founding is the result of years of work towards creating a South American regional block with a united political agenda and programs for social and economic development. The project was one of the many that was encouraged and developed during the cycle of progressive governments in Latin America that sought to create a counter-hegemonic regional response to the efforts of the United States to maintain their free access to Latin American labor, natural resources and markets and to counter their political agenda.

In July 2007, soon after its name was decided on as well as some of the internal agreements, Hugo Chavez commented on UNASUR and other projects of Latin American integration in a presidential address:

“We want a true integration and we have been supporting this integration and Venezuela knows this! How much effort have we put in and how much will we continue putting in for this integration? I will give an example. The UNASUR. Where was UNASUR born? In Margarita, in the Summit in April, after intense discussions around the name of the National Union or Union of South American Nations, and in Margarita the creation of a Permanent Secretary and several strategic lines of work were approved unanimously.”

“Our proposal of TeleSur is already a reality, as well as the University of the South and our missions like the Miracle Mission, the Literacy Mission, Petrocaribe, and the bilateral conventions of cooperation where Venezuela has made huge efforts to create cooperation with above all the weakest nations because that is what moves us, the Bolivarian spirit, it is the Bolivarian legacy, we will only be able to move forward if we are united, but really united, helping each other out. Only united can we create a political block in this part of the world, a world power in Latin America. Venezuela cannot do it alone, nor Brazil, or Argentina, none of us have what it takes to be a world power, we can only achieve this united and I am sure that we are working towards that.”

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