In an exclusive feature in the Spring 2011 issue of Americas Quarterly, released today, former Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim vigorously upholds Brazil’s foreign policy during ex-President Lula’s administration. In his article, Amorim argues that Brazilian diplomacy during Lula’s presidency, from 2003-2011, was “working to promote South American solidarity and integration,” with an end goal of eventually transforming the continent into a true “Peace Zone.”
Amorim outlines that Brazil under Lula took steps to assert South America’s autonomy from its more developed northern neighbors. For example, Brazil opposed the Free Trade Area of the Americas as proposed by the United States at the 2003 Summit of the Americas in Miami since Brazil believed that this negotiating process was unbalanced in favor of the richer American nations. Amorim also says that during a World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Cancún, also in 2003, Brazil spearheaded an effort with other developing countries to block what he argues was a “protectionist treaty.”
Nonetheless, with Brazil having emerged as one of the strongest diplomatic voices in recent years, Amorim contends that Brazil and the United States can enter this new global era together as partners. “Brazil and the U.S. will have more to gain from dialogue than confrontation,” Amorim says, adding that “Brazil’s increasing resourcefulness and independence will benefit the United States.”
In addition to Amorim’s exclusive, the Spring 2011 AQ—titled “The New Brazil and the Changing Hemisphere”—contains feature articles written by U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, Banco Itaú President Roberto Setubal, and Indian Ambassador to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay R. Viswanathan.