After four years of widespread disappointment over the inability of the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, to get along with the main international players, everything indicates that the world is once again turning towards Brazil. The expectation that the newly elected president Lula da Silva manages to turn that country into the voice of Latin America in global affairs is great and is already clearly manifested weeks before January 1, 2023, when Lula will formally assume the presidency.
In this context, the election of Brazilian Ilan Goldfajn as the new president of the Inter-American Development Bank that took place this Sunday is better understood. It is a sign that the world is again betting on Brazil as the leader of Latin America. The Brazilian candidate, who until now has served as head of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund, had the support of the United States, Argentina, his own country and other members of the IDB who jointly added 80% of the votes. He won against the candidacies of Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago.
To this we must add the good reception of Lula da Silva’s participation in COP27. Her commitment to zero deforestation and her proposal to organize the 2025 climate conference in the Amazon forest, found a very positive response in the statements of several leaders and a notable resonance in the media around the world. world. Everyone expects a pro-climatic turn in Brazilian politics from the arrival of Lula, remembering that Bolsonaro decided to remove Brazil from the organization of the climate summit that was his turn in 2019.
Institutionality, the willingness to participate in international meetings to seek solutions to global problems and the image of a statesman, despite corruption scandals, are Lula da Silva’s strengths. Even Europeans who are so sensitive to corruption have breathed a sigh of relief at witnessing Lula’s presidential victory. They hope to return to dialogue on climate issues and make progress in trade relations through Mercosur.
The Brazilian leader is also helped by Mexico’s lack of international leadership. Only Brazil and Mexico have enough political and economic power to represent Latin America in the world. Although Argentina and Chile have done very good international work recently, they do not have enough weight to represent the entire region. Now, Mexican President López Obrador, with his ignorance of international issues and his refusal to participate in person in multilateral meetings, easily gives up his place to Brazil. Not even the summit of the Pacific Alliance extended to Argentina and Ecuador, which Mexico will host between November 23 and 25, will change this situation. So, if Mexico doesn’t want to, hopefully at least Brazil will be the voice of Latin America in the world.
BY BLESSED WOJNA
PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AT TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY