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Brazilian-Argentine Partnership Is at Stake in Nov. 19 Election, Lula Warns

During his weekly Nov. 14 “Conversing with the President” program, Brazilian President Lula da Silva was asked about his view of future relations with Argentina, regardless of who wins the Nov. 19 runoff election between Libertarian extremist Javier Milei of the Freedom Advances party (LLA), and Sergio Massa of the ruling Unity for the Fatherland (UxP) coalition. Not mentioning either candidate by name, and insisting he didn’t want to interfere with Argentines’ sovereign vote, he nonetheless left little doubt as to whom he supports.

He said he wanted Argentines to remember that “Brazil needs Argentina, and Argentina needs Brazil, that we must protect the jobs created in each country through our bilateral trade [and] how much we can grow together…. We need to be together, without disagreements and when there are disagreements, we sit down and negotiate, and that’s the end of the disagreement. That’s the way we’ve always gotten along with Argentina.”

Brazil is Argentina’s number-one trading partner, and their economies are deeply intertwined. Milei has vowed that if elected, he will cut all ties with the “corrupt, communist” Lula (and with “communist” Xi Jinping) and let any trade that goes on between the two nations be handled by the private sector. “The state has no reason to be involved,” he said. It would cause huge job loss in both nations in the sectors involved in bilateral trade.

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