Sunday, April 22, 2018

UNASUR on the Rocks

Half of the countries of UNASUR announced they were suspending their membership until the crisis of "rudderless" leadership was resolved. There is currently no Secretary General, which must be decided by consensus.

Responses are almost entirely ideological. Nicolás Maduro said unnamed "revolutionaries" would protect UNASUR (whatever that means for an international institution). An editorial in Ecuador's El Comercio made fun of the Kirchner statue erected in UNASUR headquarters and wondered whether there were better uses of money. The Uruguayan right argued there was on point in staying in UNASUR. The Kirchnerists in Argentina are upset. Leftists think this is all about pressure from the United States.

You get the picture.

A major question for UNASUR was always whether it could get out of the ideological shadow of its creator, Hugo Chávez. I thought it was, even if haltingly, though I had not paid much attention to it over the past year. Latin American unity is elusive, as I've written about before. Can governments at different ends of the ideological spectrum find consensus (without driving each other crazy?).

It would be good for the region if UNASUR recovers. It's good to have a forum for dialogue and conflict resolution without the presence of the United States. It's good to foster cooperation even when governments are polar ideological opposites. There must be some centrist figure out there who would fit the bill of Secretary General.


Luis Tibiletti 1:55 PM  

Greg comparto el espíritu de su nota pero el impulsor de Unasur no fue Chávez sino Fernando Henrique Capriles que reunió por primera vez en 200 años a los presidentes de toda Sudamérica y creo la CASA común como Comunidad sudamericana de naciones luego transformada en UNASUR... gracias

Luis Tibiletti 1:56 PM  


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