Why Latin America still won’t condemn Putin’s war in Ukraine – POLITICO

Why Latin America still won’t condemn Putin’s war in Ukraine – POLITICO

“There is a former colonizer, Russia, and a former colony, Ukraine. And the former overlord is trying to take back their one-time possession. I think that many countries around the world can relate to that.”

Despite the pre-summit rhetoric highlighting the two continents’ shared values, EU leaders struggled to persuade the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) — which includes traditional allies of Moscow such as Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela — to clearly condemn Russia’s war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — a regular guest in Brussels — wasn’t invited this time. Wrangling over the wording in their joint declaration delayed the end of the meeting by hours as leaders sought to bridge the gaps. In the end, only Nicaragua dissented.

“No one intends to lecture anyone,” said European Council President Charles Michel, seeking to placate his guests. “This is not how it works, we have a lot of respect for those countries, for the traditions, for the culture, and the idea is always to engage in a spirit of mutual respect.”

Four hundred years

Spain, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, has its eyes on Latin America and likes to emphasize the close cultural and linguistic ties between the two. 

But those links hark back to Spain — and Europe’s — colonial past. The Spanish kingdom colonized much of Latin America starting in 1493 and, over the next 400 years, acquired vast wealth by exploiting its lands and people. The European slave trade also forcibly transported millions of Africans into slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean.

While European leaders hoped to ease geopolitical tensions, their Latin American counterparts came to the table with a clear message: Defining relations today means addressing and rectifying past injustices — especially as the EU looks once again to the resource-rich region, this time to power its green transition.

Source link : https://www.politico.eu/article/colonial-past-invades-eus-latin-american-summit/

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Publish date : 2023-07-18 03:00:00

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