The Mercosur Summit, which was scheduled for next week in person in Brazil, will finally be held virtually. This was announced by the government led by the president of that country, Jair Bolsonaro, which alluded to health reasons for the change after the arrival of the Ómicron strain to the continent.
The modification in the format of the meeting, which is still scheduled for September 16 and 17, but will be held by videoconference, it aroused suspicions in the diplomatic arena. The borders of Brazil are open and the antecedents do not help: during most of the pandemic, the Bolsonaro government was characterized by the rejection of sanitary measures.
Meanwhile, versions in the local press pointed to geopolitical motives, related to the tense link between the Bolsonaro government and those of Alberto Fernández and Luis Lacalle Pou, of Uruguay. According to the reports, there would be unrest in the Planalto Palace Due to the invitation from the first president of Argentina to the former Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, to participate in the massive event for Democracy Day organized by the Frente de Todos in the Plaza de Mayo for next Friday 10 December.
“The main reason was the emergence of the Ómicron variant, but government sources admit that virtuality will help deal with the tensions due to Lula’s visit to Argentina and the economic conflicts with Uruguay,” published the O Globo medium, where the Cited sources alluded to “schizophrenic” positions on the part of the Argentine government.
In the Casa Rosada they ruled out that the reasons for the change in the regional meeting are political. “Yes, it was suspended, but it is for health reasons,” they assured in the Casa Rosada before an Infobae query. “There’s a little bit of everything. Uruguay and Paraguay were invited. Lula’s may have a percentage of influence, but there are also problems with Uruguay, which is inflexible with regard to tariffs, that angered Brazil, “added an important official.
Bolsonaro and Da Silva are facing each other in the presidential elections that Brazil will go through next year, where the PT leader plans to run and appears as a favorite in the polls.
Despite the video of Alberto Fernández, published this afternoon, the Government relativizes the centrality of Lula Da Silva in the act on Friday and denies that the event is a sign of explicit support for the leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) in the upcoming Brazilian elections. “This far exceeds Lula. It is the typical celebration for Human Rights, but in a special context because it has not been done for a long time due to the pandemic ”, they minimized.
In the Government they assure that the demonstration of the day after tomorrow for the Day of Democracy, eminently political, which will take place a few days before the Mercosur Summit, will not affect the relationship with the government of Brazil, nor economic relations. In fact, they assure that the link with that country is “at its best.”
“We know there were thorns, but even in the face of Bolsonaro’s worst statements there was good dialogue and harmony,” they said at the Embassy. “With Brazil there was clearly always a complex relationship, but we do not believe that the relationship with Lula is being privileged over Bolsonaro, they are different things,” they added from the Government.
In any case, since Lula was invited, the ranks of the Government had some concern over a reaction from Bolsonaro, who is also in a proselytizing mode. “We know him, he is unpredictable. But whatever you do, it will be to speak to your own people. Beyond that, the relationship will not be affected in the medium and long term, “said an official from the ruling party.
A spokesman for the ruling party highlighted, to defend the “apolitical” position regarding the change in the Mercosur Summit, that a few days ago the ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was suspended due to health issues. “There is a real risk, in Mercosur presidents could be infected and it would be a scandal,” they said.