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US Divide-and-Conquer Tactic Works in Preventing Brazil-LatAm United Front

The US strategy to negotiate free trade deals individually with Latin American countries has shattered attempts to unify politics across the continent.

The unilateral decision taken by the Bolivian president Evo Morales to nationalize the country’s gas reserves sparked a new controversy across Latin America about the possibility of the political and economic integration. Despite all regional leaders praise for the construction of a solid bloc from Mexico to Argentina to face the challenges of the global world, the continent looks fragmented as national interests prevail.

Brazilian companies are furious with Bolivia’s leader Evo Morales over the unilateral decision of La Paz to nationalize its gas industry. Brazil’s industrial core, São Paulo, largely depends on the supply of the cheap Bolivian natural gas, which is being extracted by the Brazilian oil company Petrobras.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales ordered the nationalization of the gas industry after discussing the issue with Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In the current scenario, the US strategy to negotiate commercial agreements with Latin American countries individually has given good results for its plans to abort any intention to form a joint force in its southern border.

Washington has recently signed free trade deals with Chile, Peru, Colombia and Central America, as fuels similar agreements with Uruguay and Paraguay.

These agreements have undermined bilateral relations among South American nations. Venezuela has accused Colombia and Peru of breaking off previous obligations assumed in the Andean Community of Nations and announced its intentions to leave the regional bloc.

Farther south, Uruguay’s Socialist president Tabare Vazquez said in Washington – after meeting with President Bush – that Montevideo was ready to quit from the Mercosur bloc – which forms with Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay – if it restricts its plans to discuss trade agreements individually.

Argentina and Uruguay are facing an unprecedented dispute over the construction of two multinational cellulose factories along the Uruguayan side of the international river that separates both countries.

Buenos Aires says that the plants would seriously pollute a touristic region of Argentina, but Montevideo minimizes the environmental impact of the project.

Paraguay, in turn, blames on Argentina over the international tender to build a new hydroelectrical plant in the border between both countries. According to Asuncion, Argentina wants to benefit a local company instead of leading a fair tender with equal chances for all the international investors interested in the US$ 400 million business.

Among these foreign companies is the Russian Energomatchexport, which could suffer from the discrimination of the Argentine authorities. The controversy led to a legal demand presented before the local courts by the Argentine center-left leader, Elisa Carrio, aimed to investigate a possible case of corruption in the contracts.
Officially, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met last week with his counterparts of Bolivia, Venezuela and Argentina to discuss the future energy integration of South America after the Evo Morales’ measures.

However, it became known later that Lula and Argentina’s Kirchner were angry for not being previously advised of the Bolivian decision, which sparked the protests of the international companies operating there.

Chile is trying to keep itself aside of the regional conflicts, but still has to review the long-running conflict with Peru and Bolivia over the Pacific coastline, on of the pending border issues in the continent.

Peru has recalled its ambassador to Venezuela over the meddling of President Hugo Chavez in the Peruvian presidential race. Colombia and Venezuela have little but normal bilateral ties. Problems between Argentina and Uruguay could not be resolved between both brother-nations and the dispute is over the cellulose factories is now in the Hague tribunal.

Pravda – www.pravda.ru


  • Show Comments (10)

  • Guest

    From the beginning
    From the beginning Lula said the Bolivian people was poor and that Petrobras, a private company, should settle the matter by itself. That´s what he said. That´s what he did.
    But Petrobras has partners, foreign partners and they pushed on just like American and British companies have been doing around for longer than 100 years.
    Now you have a different picture and a different position.
    Now as to the Brazilian feelings towards America it is all mixed up.
    Brazilian teens are victims of your brutal propaganda (I said propaganda) through TV, films and stupid literature and that shitty popular music ( jazz and classical American music are just great, no doubt). They get addicted to the eating garbage you eat and to the poison you drink everyday.
    Later, when they become adults they find out what the crap your culture really is and change their minds.
    This is how it works. Don´t you
    ever expect to be admired by educated people but by blind,
    ignorant people.

  • Guest

    Sorry…France doesnt run the EU !
    The EU laws are quite simple :
    every agreement must be approved by ALL members. I there is ONE disagreement, nothing can be signed.

    Dont Brazil cheat Bolivia by paying 50 % of the world market price for gas ? And bolivia IS NOT a Mercosur member.

    Dont Brazil unilaterally and against Mercosur agreements, decided to restrict rice imports from Uruguay : a Mercosur member ?

    It is not Argentina
    who rules Mercosur, but Brazil who wants to decide everything in Mercosur.Even Kirchner is complaining !

    In every thing Brazil does it is….for them and only for their own benefits.


    Just name 1 country with whom you dont have problems !
    But I can name many with whom you have problems : Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, China, Russia, Japan, USA, EU, just to name the most importants with whom you have major open differences !

  • Guest

    fascist blowhard
    Just remember how friendly Lula was with Chavez….not later than May 1, 2006 !

    Curious attitude from Lula…suddenly !

  • Guest

    Who are your friends ?
    Name them ?
    You are in disagreement with
    everyone, rich or poor nations !
    Even with every of the other Mercosur members !

  • Guest

    FTA !
    …agreements are made between 2 countries but Brazil doesnt agrees and always criticize.

    You should then understand why Brazilians are less and less appreciated wherever they go !

    Brazil became very arrogant in the International scene wether it is in LATAM, at the WTO, the USA, the EU, with Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay (Mercosur members) and with whoever they deal with !
    They want to rule everywhere, at every stage.

    You are still a small nation…ECONOMICALLY !
    Once more you will fail just as you did for the last 100 years.

    BOOM AND BUST isnt it the nickname of….BRAZIL ??

  • Guest

    Has Brazil not a law….
    ….that says the oil belongs to the nation and that companies ONLY have the right to extract it ?

    Petrobras is not the owner of the Brazilian oil reseves.

    Sorry !

  • Guest

    You said it all……

    Why should it be cheaper ???????????

    Why not a fair price, such as the free market price ?

    Otherwise why brazilian dont sell their agriculture at 50 % of the free market price ?

    That would then be fair !

  • Guest

    SA will be in the shit for years to come. I remember when Chavez was elected . . . I said this is where it all starts. Then Morales and now Garcia in Peru. Lula and Kirchner were already fuck-ups long ago, but I find it hilarious how they were all giving one another the reach around a year ago and now they are at each other’s throats.

    With a projected unemployment figure of 53% throughout the entire continent in the coming years, SA is quickly becoming the new Dark Continent, not because of the color of its inhabitants but because its future is ever-darkening . . . Communism is sweeping the continent once again – Bloody Revolutions and Coups are soon to follow. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Lots of people apparently didn’t learn much the last time around.

  • Guest

    Tom NYC
    Let me get this straight. a traitorous fascist blowhard buffoon gets elected in venezuela. a semi literate ass with visions of stalinist collectivism gets elected in Bolivia.Argentina runs mercosur basically the way france runs the EU(for its own benefit) and alienates its partners as the numerous trade disputes w/ Brazil attest to. And its the fault of the US? You have got to be joking. Its this type of attitude thars going to keep S.A. a craphole for the forseeable future. The people really deserve better than the idiots who pass for a governing class, & intelligencia in SA

  • Guest

    “Bolivia’s President Evo Morales ordered the nationalization of the gas industry after discussing the issue with Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.”

    How’s those brazilian buddies in Castro and Chavez brasileiros????

    What can you expect, Chavez with his anti-american rhetoric exports more oil to the U.S. than to any other country….so why can’t other S.A. countries negotiate unilaterally also??

    The U.S. is S.A.’s daddy, and that includes Brazil….accept it, get over it! The sooner you do, the better you’ll be!

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