Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, said that the Brazilian government is negotiating with the member states of the Community of Caribbean Nations (Caricom) to win support for Brazil’s candidacy to a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Amorim, who accompanied President Lula on his trip to Guyana, informed that Guyana not only supports Brazil’s candidacy but pledges to seek additional support among other Caricom members.
According to the Minister, Brazil is attempting to convince the Caribbean countries that Brazil has no desire to impede their sales of sugar to Europe, where their production enters with reduced import levies. They are favored in consequence of their condition of being ex-colonies.
“We don’t want to eliminate the preferences given to the Caribbean countries,” Amorim stressed. “We just want to cancel the subsidies given to sugar production in Europe.”
The problem has to do with Brazil’s position in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in opposition to European sugar subsidies.
According to Amorim, after Brazil won its case, the Europeans told their Caribbean suppliers that they (the Europeans) would have to suspend the preferences given to their ex-colonies, which sell sugar there without quota restrictions and pay lower import taxes.
Amorim insisted that Brazil’s position is against subsidies in favor of European producers, not the preferences given to Caribbean suppliers.
Amorim, who was happy with the results of Lula’s visits to Venezuela and Guyana, informed that the President’s trip to this part of Latin America would come to an end, February 16, in Surinam. There he was scheduled to take part in a conference of Caricom heads of state.
Amorim recalled that 16 years had passed since the last visit of a Brazilian president to Guyana.
Translation: David Silberstein