Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou Tuesday warned against the “ideological temptation in international forums.” During his speech at the VII Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) in Buenos Aires, he explained that when ideologies change “the forums fade away.”
For this type of forums to survive in time they have to generate hope and hope is generated on the road already traveled, Lacalle elaborated while highlighting his country's willingness to open the region to the world, which requires action.
Is it not the time to come clean about these relations and to promote a free trade zone between our countries from Celac? From Mexico to the south of South America, can we not move forward in that direction? Lacalle argued.
He also underlined that the Celac joint declaration mentioned respect for democracy, respect for human rights, and care for institutions, while there are countries here that do not respect democracy, institutions or human rights, in an obvious reference to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Let us not have a hemiplegic vision of the defense of democracy, human rights, and institutions, according to [an] ideological profile.
Regarding Argentine Economy Minister Sergio Massa's statements whereby Uruguay would be the little brother of the Mercosur countries and needed to be looked after, Lacalle said in a news conference that those remarks were of a Disneyland nature. ”Brazil and Argentina have the responsibility to take care of it (Uruguay) as any younger brother, Massa said ahead of the Celac convention.
The Uruguayan leader also stressed that this is not the moment to mark coincidences and/or differences. Countries in the region need to adapt the national reality to be in accordance with the speeches of this community,” Lacalle stressed.
Lacalle also insisted that his country would move on with its plans to reach a free trade agreement (FTA) with China. Uruguay is going to move forward with China. It is something that has been going on for many years. When I took office, I met with the Mercosur heads of state and we maintained our position of moving forward with an FTA. If it is within Mercosur, all the better, he stated. There is a decision by Uruguay to open up to the world, he added. Montevideo is also seeking to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP11). We represent the national sentiment and we strive for our peoples to be prosperous, Lacalle also said.
The Uruguayan President also agreed to condemn the Jan. 8 riots in Brasilia calling for a coup d'état against Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.
Sometimes we create organizations, we create institutions, we want to move forward when in reality we have the possibility to trade freely, many of our economies are complementary and I am sure we could move forward in that direction, Lacalle explained.
Let us practice with action what we say in our speeches because, for this type of forums to subsist in time, they have to generate hope, he went on.
As we said last time in Mexico, Uruguay comes here with a positive vision of Celac. For several reasons, some of which have been highlighted here, among others that it is a unique instance that we have to dialogue with the Caribbean countries, he also noted.
Lacalle also concurred with his Colombian colleague Gustavo Petro about the positive characteristics of the region but he would also add the freshwater reserves, the oceans, and intellectual creativity.
I have heard speeches that I share almost completely, there are speeches that I share half of them and there are speeches that I share almost nothing, But even so, without sharing them, I understand that our nations have to be linked and that is why we must be careful with ideological temptation, Lacalle argued.
Celac is an intergovernmental mechanism for dialogue and political coordination created in 2010. It is made up of Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.