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Spain Gets a Seat at the Table of South America’s Integration

The Ciudad Guayana Declaration, signed on Tuesday, March 29, by Prime Minister José LuÀ­s Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain and Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Àlvaro Uribe of Colombia, and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, raises the possibility of Spain’s accompanying the process of South American integration and extending the discussion of commercial and political ties to englobe the Ibero-American Community.

“Our nations demand deepening, expanding, and strengthening this relationship to transcend our continental boundaries through processes of integration that involve not just countries but continents,” the document states.


The Presidents considered “historical and encouraging ” the advances made in establishing closer ties among the Andean Community, the Mercosur, and the Caribbean Community (Caricom), as well as the creation of the South American Community of Nations.


The document also welcomes the Spanish Prime Minister’s proposal to exchange developing countries’ debts for investments in education, the campaign against hunger and poverty proposed by President Lula, and Hugo Chávez’s proposal for the creation of an International Humanitarian Fund.


The text refers to integration efforts by Latin American petroleum companies, coming together in PetroAmerica and PetroSur – the latter of which was the object of an agreement between Argentina and Venezuela at the Mercosur meeting in Porto Iguazu, Argentina, last July. The text also holds out the prospect that Spain will participate in all these initiatives.


The declaration stresses, too, the importance of boosting multilateralism under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) and expresses support for the reform process proposed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.


Regarding the Brazilian candidacy for the post of director general of the World Trade Organization, the document says that the “mention made by President Lula” of this fact was “noted.”


Finally, the Ciudad Guayana Declaration hails the South American-Arab summit meeting scheduled to take place in Brasí­lia in May and backs the proposal formulated by Prime Minister Zapatero for an “Alliance of Civilizations.”


Translation: David Silberstein


Agência Brasil

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