Posted by: bklunk | November 12, 2006


harpo3206 discusses the reaction of various Latin American countries to Brazil.  Is Peru bandwagoning here?  Trying to stay close to an emerging power?  Should Latin American countries be balancing instead?

Time to Lead?


Besides the typical political scientists, others have finally realized the ptential in Brazil.  President Alan Garcia of Peru approached re-elected President Silva Brazil as part of a two day visit that began today to encourage Presient Silva to lead the “crusade for closer ties and cooperation among South American nations.”  For the day, Garcia and Silva signed 12 agreements, some involving defense end energy.  Both men look forward at a second chance to work together, and expect to increase the amount of trade between the coutries to atleast 2 billion dollars, an amount 4 times higher than that of 2001.  However, not all attempts at cooperation have been as smooth.  Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez had apparently wanted a socialist view for the region, and drastically opposed Garcia’s candidacy.  Furthermore, Venezuela has pulled ambassadors from all South American countries and is considered the United States’ most radical opponent to U.S. policy.  Mainly, however, Venezuela is breaking ties with South American countries as they continue to grow on the U.S.  Overall, it seems likely that Brasil would be the country to lead the South American empire inot the future.  Brazil is getting richer by the day and continues to grow economically, which leaves only a matter of time before it emerges as an extremely dominant player in international trade affairs.  Therefore… Garcia has seemed to pick out one hell of power house to support.

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  1. Peru may be ‘bandwagoning’ here, but it is doing it with the right country, Brazil. Brazil is the emerging power country in Latin America in terms of its growth and its relations with Western powers is also quite strong. As Latin America grows it’s going to need cooperation between countries to provide stability that investors want to see in the region. Venezuela has made this region more volatile because of its lack of cooperation with the West and its neighbors. To pull ties with its neighbors over relations with the United States is potentially hurting growth for the region and its self. This cooperation between Brazil and Peru shows that international trade and growth is important to the region and it will not let Venezuela attempt to undermine its efforts.

  2. I think this was a great blog in highlighting the positive future that may await a country that has endured so much. However, it also demonstrates to me that Hugo Chavez is one again backing himself into a corner. We may not all agree with what countries do, and they may not agree with what the U.S. does, but I think Chavez is not much better for continually criticizing and yet never offering any constructive advice. I guess what I’m saying is I get sick of people complaining and insulting other countries in hopes that it will change something and make everyone else happy. It’s not constructive. As I was saying though, this looks great for Brazil (it’s a move towards stability), and I think Peru is making a smart move, even if it is bandwagoning.

  3. An interesting topic appearing in this post is the emerging divide between pro-US countries and pro-Chavez countries. We saw it in 2005 when Bush, Chavez, and most Latin American presidents went to Brazil for a convention on economic policies. Bush tried to promote opening free trade deals between the US and any Latin American country that was willing, while Chavez tried to convince all members at the convention that free trade with the US would be continued economic imperialism. He referred to the dependency theory, and worked to persuade the heads of state to brush off Bush’s proposal. We’re beginning to see where the cookie crumbles, as within the past two years many elections in Latin America have brought significantly more pro-US presidents into power (Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile, etc.) then pro-Chavez presidents (Bolivia, who else?). We’ll see where it goes.

  4. The alienation of countries that aren’t pro-venezuela in South America seems to be ruining Venezuela’s chances of continued regional trading in South America. This is important to note as these South American countries that have become more pro-U.S. may decide to end their trading partnership with venezuela to appease their new trading partnership with the U.S. As a result Venezuala would be isolated to trading with countries in Asia (namely China), Africa, and to a very minimal extent countries in Europe. Trading outside the easily accesible countries in both South, and North America would be a significantly more expensive endeavor, and hopefully Venezuela will see this, and work itself back into renewed connection with it’s fellow South American Countries.

  5. It doesn’t suprise me that Hugo Chavez again is ruining his countries chances of being accepted abroad. Instead of cultivating the U.S. as someone who may be an ally of Venezuela, he calls Bush the devil. Where is the constructive criticism as Christi mentioned? It seems like Brazil is moving in the other direction so I am happy to hear that.

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