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Brazil’s Lula Da Silva Bolsters Relations With Bolivia, Promotes South American Integration

Brazilian President Lula da Silva spent today in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, accompanied by a delegation of 100 businessmen, for a bilateral meeting with President Luis Arce and his cabinet, the signing of many bilateral agreements and attendance at a Bolivia-Brazil Business Forum. Taking place after yesterday’s summit of Mercosur heads of state in Asuncion, Paraguay, which welcomed Bolivia as a new member, Lula’s visit is a major political and economic intervention into a country that suffered a failed military coup attempt on June 26 and has been a victim of London and Wall Street’s financial warfare for at least two years. The coup attempt came two weeks after Arce returned from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and a state visit with Vladimir Putin, during which they discussed Bolivia’s desire to join the BRICS.

Lula’s message was very straightforward. Bolivia and Brazil have a “shared vision of the world”—they are situated at “the heart of South America” and are therefore “natural partners.” They want the same things for their populations and are committed to the development policies, including physical integration of their nations and South America, that will allow them to succeed. As reported by Brazil’s presidential website, following his bilateral meeting with President Arce today, Lula thanked his counterpart for meeting him “at a moment in which Bolivian institutions have displayed their courage in the face of a grave [coup] threat.” Noting the range of agreements signed, he stressed that “in the 21st century, it’s necessary “to give countries the chance not to be treated as developing countries or Third-Worldist just because they don’t have the same technologies as developed countries.” But, he reminded, they do have the raw materials that the advanced countries need.

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