The Venezuelan Crisis and Brazil’s South American Policy
Keywords: Venezuelan Crisis, Brazil’s Foreign Policy, Regional Integration, Neoliberalism, Democracy, South America
AbstractThe political crisis in Venezuela is one of the most important regional developments for Brazil in 2016, aside from its own domestic crisis and the election of Macri in Argentina. The interim government has showed willingness to undertake major changes in Brazil’s regional foreign policy. The Venezuelan crisis is a parameter to analyze the political realignments after years of stability, but slower than intended progress in South American regional integration. The initial support for venezuelan opposition against the Chavist government symbolizes a swerve towards uncertainty in Mercosur and happens in the context of pressure to sign extra-regional economic agreements. Currently, interim Brazilian leadership is playing the “democracy card”, although the disrespect for democracy is not an exclusive feature of Venezuela in South America, but a recurring phenomenon in the region. Instead of blaming any side for the crisis, Brazil should use Unasur mechanisms to extinguish the fire and work for a middle path in the troubled transition of power in Venezuela. Thus, Brazil could revitalize Mercosur and persuade the South American leaders on the benefits of regionalism over unrestrained globalization. Otherwise, the Brazilian government may lose their bargaining position as a regional leader and interlocutor with the outside world; and South America may have a disordered process of globalization.