From Socialist Voice, January 2011


Latin American countries recognise Palestine

Until last year Venezuela was the only South American country that recognised the right of the Palestinian people to national self-determination. Then, in December, Brazil announced that it was now recognising a Palestinian state. This was quickly followed by similar announcements by Argentina, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Paraguay and Uruguay have stated that they will do the same in early 2011, with Chile and Peru expected soon after that.
     This is a great sign of a common foreign policy being adopted in Latin America that is not controlled by the United States.
     The announcements came after a request by the Palestinian National Authority to the former President of Brazil, Lula da Silva. He discussed it with the other eleven South American countries through the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). Brazil then announced its recognition of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders.
     There were the usual attempts at bullying by Israel and the United States at this decision, but Brazil remained steadfast. Three days later Argentina recognised Palestine as a “free and independent state.” At a summit meeting in December the Southern Common Market (Mercosur)—made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay—signed an agreement to negotiate a free-trade agreement with Palestine.
     As Latin America moves further away from US domination and control, it is showing the important part it can play in international affairs and in supporting other peoples in their struggle.

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