Brazil Quits UNASUR After Receiving Pro Tempore Presidency

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo courtesy of Telesur

BRASILIA, April 16 (NNN-TELESUR) – The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced Monday the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), formalizing its departure from the organization, just hours after receiving the Pro Tempore Presidency from Bolivia.

The decision was officially communicated to the Government of Ecuador, the depositary country of the agreement, and will take effect six months from today. Jair Bolsonaro’s administration joins his far-right Argentinean and Paraguayan counterparts that initiated the withdrawal procedures last week, as well as Ecuador who did it back in March.

Earlier on Monday Bolivian Foreign Minister Diego Pary announced that his country officially transferred the pro tempore presidency to Brazil, a position responsible for promoting the meetings and activities of the bloc. However, this will likely suffer a setback as Brazil will doubtfully fully perform this task.

Since they still will hold the presidency for the next six months as they are still part of the bloc. After they officially leave, the Pro Tempore Presidency will pass to the next country in line in alphabetical order, which is Chile.

The Bolivian Foreign Minister reminded everyone that at the moment 11 nations are still officially part of the group, as only Colombia has completely abandoned. “It is the member states that are going to decide what is the fate that this body should have”, Pary added.

Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay have denounced the Constitutive Treaty and must wait the standby period. Meanwhile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Suriname, Guayana, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru are still part of the group, even though the two latter nations suspended their participation in April 2018.

The regional bloc activities have been paralyzed since 2017 as there wasn’t a consensus to choose a new General Secretary to succeed the Colombian Ernesto Samper. The situation aggravated as the right-wing U.S. backed “Group of Lima”, created a competing diplomatic group called ProSur on March 22, 2019, to counteract Unasur in accordance with U.S.’s interventionist agenda against Venezuela and neoliberal policies in the region.