In an Allusion to Chavez Brazil Warns US: We’re Nobody’s Middleman

US President Bush and Venezuelan President Chavez Brazil would like to see the current relation with United States become something positive for South America and expects that Washington's renewed interest in the hemisphere is based on cooperation and not in the old "intervention" style, said Friday Brazilian Foreign Affairs minister Celso Amorim.

Just a week from the arrival in Brazil of US President George W Bush, in the first leg of a long tour of several Latinamerican countries, Amorim said that "what we can obtain from the US, will be for the whole of South America. We're not after advantages that are not extensive to the rest of South America."

Bush is scheduled to meet with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva next Friday in São Paulo and again at the end of the month but in Camp David, evidence of the "good chemistry between both leaders and countries."

Amorim denied Brazil is turning its back on its neighbors and insisted that they will all benefit from "this positive climate between the world's leading power and the principal power in the region."

He also revealed that Lula talked about the issue with Uruguay's president Tabare Vazquez when they met in Colonia, last Monday, and "it's our intention to send the same message to the rest of our South American colleagues."

However he said Brazil has not intention of acting as "nobody's middle man" in an apparent reference to the verbal exchanges between United States and President Hugo Chavez.

"What we want is for the US to have a comprehensive vision of South America's problems, understanding its diversity, the existent plurality and our economic claims," said Amorim.

But "essentially we want to transmit a positive vision of this continent, of an integration process with innumerable business opportunities. We want US corporations to invest in South America. We have no prejudice against any US company."

"A good relation between Brazil and United States reinforces the chances for a good overall relation of South America with the US", emphasized Amorim who denied it was Brazil's intention to "calm" Bush about the situation in the continent.

"I don't know if President Bush is coming to the region looking for tranquilizers, I very much doubt it. He's coming to Brazil in search for cooperation in fuels", he said with irony in relation to the US interest in developing ethanol and bio-fuels.

"I believe Brazil has much to offer by its own stance: we're a democracy, which respects the free press with an important social agenda and a very much respected foreign policy."

Mercopress

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