At the end of the meeting with Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro in Brasilia, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva declared that “relations between the two countries have been fully resumed”and affirmed that in Venezuela “There is democracy.”
“I am hpy to meet Maduro again. The resumption of our relations is complete, not only of a commercial nature”Lula said at a press conference Lula explained that he had “discussed a lot with his European social democrat colleagues, explaining that it was absurd for the president-elect to be denied recognition,” and instead they gave their support to Juan Guaido.
Lula described as “narratives” accusations of dictatorship in the country. “Maduro knows the narrative that they built against Venezuela for so long,” said the Brazilian president and recalled the campaign of former Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, who “went all over the world explaining to people that it was not what people said what was it”.
The presidents of Brazil and Venezuela met this Monday in Brasilia to seal the normalization of their relations after years of hostility.
Lula said it’s a “Historic moment” for both countries in a press conference that he held together with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro after a bilateral meeting held at the Planalto Palace.
“After eight years, President Maduro visits Brazil again and we recover the right to make our foreign policy with the seriousness we always had, especially with the countries that share borders with Brazil,” Lula said.
The president attributed to political mistakes that occurred during the administration of his predecessor, the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022), the distance between the two countries that conspired against their trade relations.
The bilateral meeting took place the day before a summit of South American leaders that aims to strengthen regional integration.
Maduro stressed for his part that they reestablished “an open and permanent dialogue” and that his country is prepared to resume “virtuous relations” with the businessmen of Brazil after the period in which from there “all the doors and windows were closed, being neighboring countries”.
The two presidents reviewed the progress in the process of normalization of bilateral relations that began on January 1 when the Brazilian leftist leader assumed the presidency for the third time, which included the reopening of the respective embassies and consulates.
Lula defended the populist government of Maduro from the questions received from the European Union and the United States.
“The United States has made an extremely exaggerated blockade (against Venezuela). I always think that a blockade is worse than a war”said the Brazilian president.
“I fought a lot… because for me it was so absurd that the people who defend democracy deny you as president of Venezuela, elected by the Venezuelans,” he said when addressing his guest in Planalto.
According to Lula, the prejudice against Venezuela is “very big” and continues to exist.
Both presidents addressed border security, with an emphasis on increasing cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and other crimes.
Maduro said that Lula proposed to hold a short-term meeting between defense ministers to establish new protocols to protect the population from all types of crime on the border. “We have to resume something that never in life should have been broken.”
The Brazilian pointed out in this regard that Unasur already had a mechanism that, in his opinion, was successful. “We need to have our armed forces always unitedalways working together and always preparing to guarantee the sovereignty of each of our countries”.
Both also advocated reactivating trade relations.
Bilateral trade reached proximately 1.7 billion dollars in 2022, with Brazilian exports of around 1.3 billion and imports of nearly 400 million.
Lula stressed that Brazilian companies want to reinvest in the neighboring country and that will form part of a full integration that also includes the recovery of the energy relationship with Venezuela.
In this regard, he pointed out that “our Minister of Energy will speak with the Minister of Energy of Venezuela and I hope that they will call us as soon as possible” to advance in the purchase of energy from the neighboring country.
Lula also welcomed Maduro’s desire for his country to be part of the BRICS group – made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Maduro indicated in this sense that Venezuela wants to accompany in “the construction of this new architecture, of this new world geopolitics”.
Source: ANSA and AP