The Government is working to bring together 33 countries of the region that make up the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) so that Alberto FernĂˇndez can be elected president of this regional group.
Since the bloc has no protocols or a specific institutional framework for electing authorities, the Casa Rosada hopes that "friends will support and those that are not our friends will not say anything."
As LPO learned, if elected by his peers, Alberto will promote a Latin American Aerospace Agency together with Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica, but his main goal will be to lead a process of political articulation and mediation of the conflicts in the region involving, mainly, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
This is a diplomatic move that seeks to counteract the role of the OAS led by Uruguayan Luis Almagro, strongly aligned with U.S. interests. Foreign Minister Felipe SolĂˇ is currently in Mexico negotiating the possibility of Alberto taking over the position.
As in other regional initiatives, Argentina has consolidated a political alliance with the government of Mexican Lopez Obrador, which also maintains a tough confrontation with Almagro, as revealed by LPO.
Sources from the Foreign Ministry consulted by LPO confirmed the version and were confident that support will be obtained. "We are well positioned," they acknowledged.
In relation to the countries that could be opposed, the San Martin Palace includes Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador in the list of resisting countries, which would not be an impediment.
Also, Argentina's objectives for Celac include commercial elements. "We are promoting a Mercosur trade agreement with Central American countries in which we see a business opportunity for industrial products, particularly pick-ups. With Mexico, we opened up the meat market and there is a huge potential for growth," a member of Felipe SolĂˇ's team - who is in Mexico to attend the summit - told LPO.
Along the same lines, The Foreign Ministry's Secretary of International Economic Relations, Jorge Neme, is currently touring Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
If Alberto succeeds in leading Celac, he will have support to debate the burning issues that currently take over the Latin American public agenda, but without pressure from the United States. Nevertheless, the government agrees with the recent positions of the United States, Canada, and the European Union regarding the situation in Venezuela and trusts that the agendas can be complemented. Cuba is a separate issue because it is almost a matter of domestic politics for the United States due to the enormous political weight of the Cuban-American community in Florida, which is mostly Republican.
Celac was created in 2010 as a continuation of the Rio Group and was founded in the spirit of building a common space without the presence of the United States and Canada and an alternative to the OAS. During the period of center-left governments, the bloc had significant momentum, which was then diluted.
Currently, the presidency is held by Mexico, and if the figures consolidate according to government expectations, Alberto will take office in September and will be in charge for one year, during which he will try to raise the profile of the group, design observation missions for the next elections in the continent, promote trade agendas as well as refine his health diplomacy to assist countries that could not access enough vaccines to immunize its population.
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