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News > Latin America

Brazil's Lula: 'United States Doesn't Want Strong, Independent Latin America'

  • Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

    Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 March 2018

"Frankly, North Americans were never truly interested in cooperating with Latin America," the former President said.

The foreign policies of the United States and its allies are against a "strong and independent" Latin America according to former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva

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Speaking during an interview with former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on RT, Lula said: "It's becoming more and more clear each day that the United States doesn't want Latin America to be strong and independent, much less it doesn't want such a big country as Brazil to influence the decisions made by Latin America. Frankly, North Americans were never truly interested in cooperating with Latin America."

"Before, Brazil was looking at the United States and the European Union with its back towards South American countries and Africa. I decided to change that," Lula said, noting that a change in Brazil's policies along with the actions of other countries was seen as a threat by the U.S.

"The United States was not used to seeing Latin America independent. We acted independently when we refused to join the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), when we created UNASUR and CELAC, when we formed the Council of South American Defense, and especially when we discovered pre-salt oil," he added.

During the interview, the 72-year-old former president continuously emphasized that a strong Brazil, independent of U.S. influence in the region, has never factored into the Washington consensus.

Responding to questions about U.S. President Donald Trump, Lula only said, “He doesn't care about Latin America in the least.”

From this point he compared and contrasted recent U.S. administrations, saying “It may seem surprising to you, but (former U.S. President George W.) Bush and Condoleezza Rice pursued a much more democratic policy towards Brazil than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."

Lula charged that real action rarely accompanied the charisma and impressive public speaking skills of Obama.

"A powerful man from the US once told me: 'Obama's problem is that, while an exceptional speaker, he tends to forget everything he has said the very next day.' It's true, isn't it? He could give magnificent speeches on any important issue, but never actually delivered on his promises," Lula concluded.

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