Former President Cardoso Says Brazil Lost Leadership in the Mercosur

Mercosur is agonizing and the situation could worsen if any of its members signs a free trade agreement with a third party, warned former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

The former president was also critical of Brazil’s loss of leadership and the growing challenge at continental level represented by Venezuela’s leader Hugo Chavez.

"Brazil could and should have helped sponsor conciliation between Uruguay and Argentina in the pulp mills dispute," underlined Mr. Cardoso in a long interview with Montevideo’s daily EL Pais.

"Mercosur is in crisis. We never actually worked for a true integration by granting special powers to a supranational body or assembly which could take into consideration the different population and economic might of country members"

The former president admitted that following the exchange rate difficulties at the end of the nineties, which affected mainly Brazil and Argentina, plus the following recession, come country members "adopted a defensive attitude".

Brazil surprised Mercosur members by devaluating its currency January 1999 and Argentina defaulted December 2001.

Cardoso insisted that Brazil’s leadership in South America actually "diminished at the same rate some of our leaders started to proclaim it ostentatiously".

"Not only did we (Brazil) remain silent without taking any conciliatory initiative in the Uruguay-Argentina dispute, but we also allowed Venezuela to actively meddle in the irritating skirmishes Bolivia has had with its neighbors, by adopting a bashful attitude".

Cardoso said he didn’t believe there was ill faith in the current Brazilian administration foreign affairs policy to gain World predominant, but "several serious appreciation errors have been committed".

If the free trade agreements with third parties, (such as the US, China or other regions), promoted by the smaller country members of the group proliferate, "Mercosur agony will worsen".

Cardoso said much of the difficulties can be tracked to the tepid reaction to the US sponsored Free Trade of the Americas Association, FTAA.

"We rejected the global agreement and now we are faced with a surge of partial bilateral agreements which unbalance the whole regional integration that is a major failing of the current Brazilian administration," highlighted the former Brazilian president.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

Tags:

You May Also Like

Brazil Wants Its Own Atlantic-Pacific Road from Sea to Shining Sea

The presidents of Brazil, Bolivia and Chile want to step up plans to build a ...

Lula Ready to Talk to Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah to Get Middle East Peace

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said he is willing and ...

Wanna Buy an iPod? By All Means Keep Away from Brazil

Willing to buy an iPod? Try Hong Kong and if in Europe, Switzerland, and ...

Experts Can’t Agree on Why Hundreds of Penguins Are Washing Up Dead in Brazil

Baby penguins, hundreds of them, swept from the icy shores of Antarctica and the ...

The FTAA Is Dead. Brazil and Mercosur Have Buried It.

The stage was set for a showdown. When the Bush cabinet announced intentions to ...

In Brazil, Basic Education Gets Only the Crumbs of Public Money

Objective measures of the cognitive ability of students in the Brazilian education system have ...

With 9% Growth Argentina’s Risk Falls and Brazil Is Left Behind

Argentina's rate risk dropped Friday below that of neighboring Brazil, a day after the ...

Opposition Warns Morales’s Tough Talk Will Alienate Brazil and Isolate Bolivia

Bolivian opposition leaders warned Evo Morales’ tough stance on foreign energy companies facing nationalization ...

Brazilian capital Brasília's Justice Palace

The Real Cost Brazil: a Lavish State Machine That Doesn’t Deliver

A major survey of Brazil by the Economist has made the country once more ...

Interest Rate Cut Doesn’t Cheer Up Brazilian Investors

Latin American and, in particular, Brazilian stocks fell again this Thursday, March 9, as ...