Thursday, March 14, 2019

UNASUR Is Probably Dead

Lenín Moreno announced Ecuador was pulling out of UNASUR because "ha concluido que no existen las condiciones para que Unasur pueda volver a trabajar por la integración sudamericana." Oh, and they want the building back too. He said it had become a "political platform" rather than a true mechanism for integration. It seems the final straw was when members were unable to agree on a new Secretary-General. Last April, half the countries had suspended their participation anyway, and Colombia later fully pulled out.

Given Venezuela's collapse and general lack of interest, I can't see UNASUR surviving in any meaningful way. Of all the organizations created in the 2000s, I thought it had the most promise. Even conservatives in Latin America--e.g. Alvaro Uribe and Sebastián Piñera--accepted and utilized it. It served as a legitimate source of conflict resolution.

Instead, now Piñera and Iván Duque are talking about PROSUR, yet another new organization, presumably similar but just right-leaning, to replace it. I agree with Bruno Binetti, who says that it would just likely become an empty shell like all the rest. Nonetheless, a group of leaders will meet in Santiago in a week to talk about it. They say it will be "without ideology" but integration requires ideology. If there is going to be economic integration, for example, everyone has to agree on the model, which is fundamentally ideological.


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