During the meeting with Presidents Àlvaro Uribe (Colombia), Jose Luis Zapatero (government of Spain), and Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on his speech, defended the behavior of his Venezuelan counterpart.
“We do not accept defamation against our associates. We do not accept insinuation against associates. Venezuela has the right to be a sovereign country, of making its own decisions,” said Lula, adding that he is not afraid of making this statement anywhere in the world.
Last week, during a visit to Brazil, United States Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, criticized Venezuela’s plan to buy 100,000 Russian assault rifles to equip its Armed Forces.
“We are capable of taking care of our own businesses in South America,” he completed.
Lula recalled that in the 2002 presidential campaign, his opponents said that he would turn Brazil into another Venezuela, and that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) would finance his political Party (Workers’ Party – PT).
“We didn’t take any of these accusations seriously,” he said as he remembered recent Brazilian news about this subject.
“There are a lot of people saying bad things about us in the world,” affirmed Lula.
For him, this Tuesday, March 29, meeting signals the importance, for advancing the region’s integration, of establishing confidence among countries’ presidents.
“Politics is not possible without confidence among the people involved.”
Translation: Andréa Alves