Venezuelan Proposal to Limit Freedom of Press in South America Alarms Brazil

    Unasur

    Unasur
    To the already charged agenda of South America's Unasur summit, which opens this Monday in Quito, Ecuador, two controversial issues have been added: an "ethics responsibility" clause for the media and a strong criticism of the current financial architecture in South America and the global crisis.

    The Union of South American Nations gathering of presidents was expecting two divisive issues, particularly the one referred to US forces deployed in Colombian bases and the Honduras crisis, to absorb much of the political debate.

    But Venezuela's proposal of an "ethics responsibility" clause in the final declaration triggered a strong debate since several countries see this as an attempt to restrict the freedom of the press

    According to the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, the Venezuelan delegation put forward the idea during the weekend technical meetings preparatory for the summit.

    The proposal alarmed the Brazilian delegation but was so strongly debated against by Uruguay and Chile that "Brazil did not need to intervene," according to diplomatic sources quoted by the Sao Paulo daily.

    With Uruguay and Chile against there is no consensus and therefore the initiative will not be included in the final declaration of the Quito summit when Chile will be handing over the pro tempore presidency of the regional group to Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.

    Brazil feared that Venezuela or any other South American country for that matter could in the future appeal to that clause to impose restrictions to the press.

    The São Paulo newspaper also points out that Venezuela was proposing to include in the Quito declaration a paragraph on the current South American financial architecture and the global crisis, which could open the door for Unasur to adopt monetary mechanisms already approved by the Venezuela-Cuba sponsored Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA.

    If this was the case and given the recent establishment of the Sucre, as virtual money, approved by ALBA members (Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba and Dominica) plus Ecuador, with the purpose of in a near future replace the US dollar as the regional trade currency, this could open the way for a similar path with Unasur.

    According to diplomatic sources, Brazil will strongly reject the initiative and will also lobby to have it thrown out from the Foreign Affairs Ministers Council discussions and thus omitted from the Quito declaration.

    Unasur is the brain child of Brazilian diplomacy and pretends to create a regional organization to deal with political, defense, security issues, with exclusion of out of the region countries (basically the US).

    The issue of the US forces in Colombian bases is most challenging because a last week round of visits by Colombian president Alvaro Uribe to his peers in seven countries showed the issue was highly controversial, with some countries admitting first Colombia's right to sovereign decisions and non interference in internal affairs.

    It was precisely after Uribe's meeting with Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva that Brazilian diplomacy said the issue should be discussed or considered at the Unasur security affairs council.

    It has been anticipated that President Uribe will not be going to Quito since diplomatic relations with Ecuador have been severed for some time and because of the strong attacks, some of them personal, from Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales against the Colombian agreement with Washington.

    Mercopress

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (1)

    • ch.c.

      Somewhat funny, coming from Brazil…..
      where reporters are killed, at times, …whenever they want to reveal and publish some corruptions practices !

      Hmmmmmm !

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Brazil’s Oscar Niemeyer, 98, Still Busy at Drawing Board

    It could be just one more university in the Arab world. As in various ...

    Futile Shuffle

    Why insist on playing with fire, which is precisely what this government and its ...

    FTAA: Brazil’s Poison Pill – Part 3

    The Brazilian initiative to distribute AIDS drugs caused negative reactions among the international scientific ...

    Poll Gives Brazil’s Lula Presidency Again by a Landslide

    Less than two weeks from Brazil’s second-round presidential election the final results are already ...

    Argentina’s Kirchner Pays Brazil First State Visit

    The President of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner, is in Brazil on his first State visit ...

    Brazil: A Fever Called Corinthians

    There, on the magazine cover, was a splendid panoramic display of Morumbi Stadium, filled ...

    Brazil: Guarani Indians Will Fight for Their Land

    Once again, the Guarani Kaiowá who live in the Nhanderu Marangatu indigenous land region ...

    Rio's Caveirão military vehicle

    A World Campaign to Get Rid of the Big Skull, Brazil’s Military Van

    Eleven-year-old Carlos Henrique was on his way home when police stormed the Vila do ...

    Petrobras rig

    US Judge Hears Investors Claiming to Be Defrauded by Petrobras

    Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras urged a U.S. judge to throw out an investors’ ...

    WWF Expedition Discovers New Fish, Frog and Tree Species in the Amazon

    The Juruena-ApuÀ­ Expedition, organized by the Washington-based  World Wildlife Fund (WWF), reports that it ...