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  • Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the Mercosur Summit in Santa Fe, Argentina July 17, 2019.

    Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the Mercosur Summit in Santa Fe, Argentina July 17, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 July 2019

The Southern Common Market Summit concluded by committing itself to the U.S. and EU trade projects.

At the end of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) Summit in Santa Fe, Argentina, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro affirmed Wednesday that this trade bloc does not aim anymore to build a "Great Homeland," which was common goal proposed by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a way to unite all Latin American countries in order to overcome the historical problems faced by their peoples.

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"We do not want a Great Homeland. We want each South American country to be autonomous... As said by Trump, who wants to make America Great, I want Brazil great, a great Paraguay, a great Bolivia, a great Uruguay... that is our vocation," said the Brazilian president at the plenary of Mercosur leaders.

Bolsonaro, who will be in charge of the temporary Mercosur presidency for the next six months, sought to differentiate himself from the center-left political and economic orientation which characterized the Mercosur until a few years ago.

In addition, the Brazilian former captain, who has stood out for his offensive comments on women, homosexuals and African descent people, warned that "we do not want another country in which what happens with Venezuela may happen."

Bolsonaro also openly meddled in Argentina's presidential election campaign in which the right-wing President Mauricio Macri is trying to get reelected in a polarized race with Cristina Fernandez, the woman whose presidency (2007-2015) saw leftist economic and social policies.

"Bolsonaro's hatred is not welcome. His sexist, neoliberal and discriminatory policies are not welcome. Latin America deserves the Great Homeland that we always dream of and we knew how to build at the time. Get out Bolsonaro." The meme reads, "Argentina rejects Bolsonaro. Your hate is not welcome."

"We ask every [Argentinean] voter to commit to freedom, democracy and prosperity so that our leaders can occupy these positions in their respective nations," the Brazilian president said.​​​​​​​

In this context, the right-wing South American leaders took the opportunity to demand the ​​​​​​​departure of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.

However, in the Mercosur summit final declaration, they failed to impose an official recognition of Juan Guaido, the right-wing opposition politician who illegally proclaimed himself as Venezuela's "interim president."

At the summit held in Santa Fe, Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose country belongs to Mercosur as an associate state, asked to maintain ideological pluralism as a basis for integration.

"It would be nice if we had a plurinational Mercosur and a plurinational America," Morales said and recalled that the unity among ideologically diverse partners is the best way to "work for certain equality between human beings."​​​​​​​

"Eduardo Bolsonaro as ambassador means automatic submission of Brazil to U.S. interests. 'He is a friend of Trump's children': Bolsonaro admitted when nominating his son as ambassador to the U.S."

Nevertheless, for Presidents Bolsonaro and Macri, the Mercosur summit had a different meaning. For it was an opportunity to consolidate economic relations with the United States and the European Union (EU).

"I affirm my government's commitment to opening our bloc as a trade instrument with the world without the ideological bias that I criticized so much as a parliamentary leader," said Bolsonaro, referring to the Mercosur-EU Free Trade Agreement whose final text was perfected on June 28.

The Santa Fe summit ended with commitments from the South American presidents for this agreement to take effect as soon as possible.

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