Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brazil's world

On Wednesday, Brazil and Malaysia's ambassadors blamed the collapse of negotiations on Israel's refusal to extend the building freeze, and called to halt all building in Judea and Samaria. "We once again reiterate our call on Israel to heed the unanimous call of the international community in this regard," Brazil's permanent representative to the UN, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, said in an address to the Council. 

According to the World Politics Review, Brazil is the country responsible for the trend of Latin American countries' recognition of a Palestinian state. Lula, Brazil's past president, assembled a constituency of developing nations in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, all supportive of Brazil's worldview. According to the Review, Palestinian state recognition gains Brazil positive political momentum on a global scale. For the new administration, it gives President Dilma Rousseff political leeway among Arab countries of the Middle East. As more developing-world countries recognize Palestinian independence, Brazil could again find itself as vanguard of the trend.

What lies behind the various countries' support of the Palestinian cause? According to the Review, Argentina and Uruguay tend to follow Brazil's lead in global politics. Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela are ruled by leaders with ties to the radical left dominated by anti-imperialist rhetoric. Chile's support was less predictable - as an ally of the U.S., it does not normally follow Brazil's lead. However, in this case, Pinera caved to the largest Palestinian community outside the Arab world.

According to the Review, continuation of the trend of South American countries can be traced to Brazil's leadership and commercial interests in the Arab Middle East.

According to Foreign Policy's Josh Keating, if the traditionally pro-U.S. Colombia hops on the train, the Lula foreign-policy legacy will be further solidified.

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