Latin American Countries Reject EU’s Stance on Ukraine Help, Pushback Against Environmental Rules for Trade Deal – Demands for Reparations for Slavery Bring Discord Ahead of Summit

Latin American Countries Reject EU’s Stance on Ukraine Help, Pushback Against Environmental Rules for Trade Deal – Demands for Reparations for Slavery Bring Discord Ahead of Summit

33 Latin American and Caribbean heads of States (from CELAC group) will travel to Brussels for the 17-18 July Summit with the 27 United Europe members.

But the historical upcoming CELAC-EU summit is facing an unexpected amount of discord over a range of issues, most notably the stance on the war on Ukraine.

That the two groups are not seeing eye-to-eye in this issue has become clear after the dispute over the attendance of Ukraine’s President Zelensky, who was invited by Spain, only to be ‘uninvited’ after heavy pushback from Latin American leaders.

The EU and the US United States are backing Kyiv money, weapons and ammunitions. But Latin Americans will not be dragged into a war they see as a primarily ‘European problem’.

Euractiv reported:

“The initial EU-proposed summit declaration text had included several paragraphs on support for Ukraine, referencing the UN General Assembly’s resolutions, three people familiar with the document said.”

Latin American countries ‘deleted everything about Ukraine’, and submitted a modified draft.

“According to the modified declaration text, the EU and CELAC members would together “advocate for serious and constructive diplomatic solutions to the current conflict in Europe, by peaceful means, which guarantees the sovereignty and security of us all, as well as regional and international peace, stability and security”.

[…] The counterproposal is expected to be discussed by EU ambassadors in their meeting on Friday (7 July) where member states are expected to discuss how much they are willing to compromise on language in an effort to salvage a draft communiqué being ready for the summit in two weeks.”

At this point it is quite possible that the summit might end without any joint declaration,

But Ukraine is not the only problem ahead: CELAC members have unexpectedly asked Europeans ‘to pay reparations for the damage caused by slavery’.

That is sure to become a contentious issue.

“’We recognize the need for appropriate measures to be taken to restore the dignity of the victims [of the trans-Atlantic slave trade of Africans], including reparations and compensation to help to heal our collective memory, and to reverse the legacies of underdevelopment’, the proposed [CELAC] draft declaration text states.”

Another point of dispute is the now-stalled trade deal between the EU and Mercosur — which groups Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay — because of last-minute ‘environmental demands’ by the Europeans.

Politico reported:

“Technical talks were wrapped up in 2019 but an EU call for extra environmental safeguards has held up a deal that could deliver a welcome boost to the EU economy and reduce its dependence on China.

That in part reflects ambivalence within the EU toward the Mercosur deal: France and Austria are among countries that have expressed concerns over deforestation in the Amazon basin and a possible surge in farm imports from the region.

Officials in Brussels had hoped to tout significant progress on the Mercosur deal at the July summit, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling to get it done as soon as possible.”

It has become clear that Latin Americans refuse to bow to European countries that have cut all their forests, and now propose to dictate how they must manage they own forest resources.

“{Brazil’s] Lula, who has just taken over Mercosur’s rotating leadership, this week called these extra demands ‘unacceptable’ and called for [EU] bloc to present ‘a quick and forceful response’.”

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Author: Paul Serran