Former Uruguayan President José Pepe Mujica has submitted a proposal to the governments of Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, whereby regional integration would include a common anthem, flag, and unified documents for regional travel. The initiative would also provide for some professionals to be allowed to practice in other countries without revalidating their university degrees.
The plan was outlined by Mujica over dinner on Jan. 11 with President Alberto Fernández at the Olivos Presidential residence just outside the Argentine capital. Also participating in the meeting were Mujica's wife and former Uruguayan Vice President Lucía Topolansky, together with Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero.
Mujica said Monday in a radio interview in Montevideo that he seeks to generate a long-term political integration agenda. In his opinion, Latin America is burdened with a series of failures that lead to further backwardness than Africa in terms of integration.
Africa is more advanced than Latin America and the world is changing. In the future there are powers that go beyond what traditional states can do, for example, discussions with the international financial system, new companies that manage the digital world, and artificial intelligence, Mujica underlined.
To defend what little sovereignty we have left it is necessary to bring interests together and generate a long-term policy, he explained while insisting that the various attempts at regional integration had failed because they were carried forward by politicians, intellectuals who were distanced from the peoples.
It is history that determined that we achieved political independence and paid with economic, cultural, and social dependence, Mujica stressed.
Mujica's proposals also include a common name with a common flag and anthem, and that an integrated version of history is taught at schools, high schools, and universities. In addition to professional degrees being recognized throughout the region, Mujica also suggested that people may travel without a passport throughout Latin America.
The former leftwing leader insisted on the region's need to get together a little.” Otherwise, all the region's resources will be useless.