There is a lot of rhetoric and very little concrete, transcendent progress. International analyst Juan Pablo Toro believes that real progress will require steps beyond political color.
Election-wise, 2022 was a profitable year for the Left latin america. It took over Gabriel Bolick of Chile , Gustavo Petro He became the first left-wing president in history. Columbia Y Lula da Silva returned to power with Brazil Despite setbacks in . Argentina with influential vice presidents and ex-presidents denouncing Christina Fernandez and Peru with the collapse of the government Pedro Castillo After he attempted to carry out a self-coup d’état, the bloc’s leaders are optimistic: there is talk of integration and cooperation, taking advantage of what appears to be a collective turn of countries into the sector.
But the future may not be as optimistic as it sounds, and the political colors can be misleading.
“In Latin America, it always seems that the ideological coincidence of governments arouses the desire for integration, but it is precisely false to believe that integration is produced by political affinities, and the truth is already A Government in Power That Should Be Generated by Common Interests That Must Exist”, Qualifies as Executive Director of AthenaLab Juan Pablo Toro.
At Lula da Silva’s inauguration on Jan. 1, analysts noted that “there was a lot of hugs, optimism and hope, as they happened to be presidents of various left-wing shows.” But remember, “Argentina has elections this year, and what we’ve seen since 2018 is that there’s generally a shift.”
In other words, it is very likely that the right will come to power in the Trans-Andean country this year, removing Fernandez from power and complicating integration plans for political affinities.
That’s not all. Also found in Paraguay and Guatemala.
“We have to see how that aspiration will come true. There is a lot of rhetoric, but there are a lot of people who are very happy about Lula’s victory, so I’m not going to be specific about physical integration.” I’d like to wait a little bit until we find out,” he says.
Integration as a project with a future vision
Toro, for example, now states that “a bridge is being built between the borders of Paraguay and the south of Brazil. This will affect the two-ocean corridor from the north of Chile into Antofagasta. The added new branch, and It is a true integration project and has survived the government. And those are initiatives that survive. As such, we would like to see the goals, deadlines, objectives, amounts involved, and the more specific initiatives in which they were achieved. “
However, all of these plans can be hampered by internal challenges that leaders must face. “You can’t have a great foreign policy if your home is cluttered.”
“Some countries, like Lula herself, who took office 20 years after her first government, have experienced a lot of recession and a high degree of polarization. come to another world There is a war going on in Europe, China is much more powerful, it has just experienced a pandemic and is still feeling its effects,” estimate international analysts.
Similarly, the climate crisis is firmly on Brazil’s domestic and global agenda, the South American giant is plagued by policies that have exacerbated deforestation in the Amazon, and the industry represents Bolsonaro’s critical support.
On the other hand, he stresses that cooperation in logistics could also be promising for the region. Progress is needed in that regard, especially taking advantage of the fact that there could certainly be something concrete and there is a lot of conviction, at least in left-wing governments, that public works is also a way to boost the economy. am.
“Also, The better the structure and logistics, the more value we can provide to the economy Bull remembers.
immigration, regional issues
Immigration could also become a common concern, Toro adds, as the crisis affects several countries in the region. Against the backdrop of these interests, political integration and concrete measures must be aimed at, and “the old institutions that are basically paralyzed need to be revitalized. Unasr It is Chavez and Lula’s paternity creation.”
“President Boric said he was in favor of holding a regional summit to precisely address the issue of immigration. For example, immigrants arriving in Chile by land from Venezuela pass through various countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. So the truth is that one or two countries cannot solve or order this issue and a more joint investigation is needed,” he adds.
But even though this is a cross-border issue, he doesn’t expect Brazil to be very interested. Despite the fact that Nicolas Maduro did not attend the final administration, considering that he was invited to the ceremony.
“I don’t think there’s a lack of issues that are interesting to work with. We have to look at issues where we can make real progress and hopefully they can survive the government of the time.” That’s it.”
Also, another point to consider is that “lithium triangle” It consists of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, all countries with internal political turmoil and mutual problems, including the recent ruling of the International Court of Justice. Sirala .
Isn’t the future promising?
Personally, Toro explains that in his 20 years, he has rarely seen a concrete integration initiative at work. A platform for promoting business and the free trade bloc”. But the case “also lost momentum when the president showed less interest in free trade and alliances.”
“In addition, our economy is very Asia-Pacific oriented. China has become the first trading partner and major investor in countries such as Brazil, Peru and Chile, but has very little intra-regional trade. There are economies that produce more or less very similar things, and sometimes they don’t have the infrastructure to connect.” “Rather than being optimistic, I try to base my assessment on what I have seen. What I’ve seen is a lot of promise and little result of integration. ”
In this sense, “I think the best example of this is the empty Unasur building, which at the time cost about $38 million, a forum for the synthesis of rhetoric.”