Chile Opts out of UNASUR in a Bid for Right-Wing Integration

Featured Chile Opts out of UNASUR in a Bid for Right-Wing Integration

The country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, told Chilean news outlet la Tercera that "it is completely unviable to revive the group.”

Even though it was later than expected, Chile’s right-wing government has denounced on Sunday the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), officially initiating its departure from the organization.

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The country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, told Chilean news outlet la Tercera that "it is completely unviable to revive the group” due to its stagnation and lack of leadership, adding that now “the space that does have a clear agenda and active participation is Prosur, successfully promoted by Chile."

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. 

Guyanese President David Arthur Granger as well as right-wing presidents Mauricio Macri (Argentina), Jair Bolsonaro (Brasil), Sebastian Piñera (Chile), Ivan Duque (Colombia), Lenin Moreno (Ecuador), Martin Vizcarra (Peru), and Mario Abdo Benitez (Paraguay) signed their allegiance to the new accord, in Santiago. Delegates from Uruguay, Bolivia, and Suriname strengthened their resolve and support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s legitimate claim to the presidency, refusing to condone the initiative.

In a statement tweeted on Sunday, Piñera announced his decision to expedite the process to both chambers of the Chilean congress in order to officially defect from the regional bloc. This comes as Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Colombia all have also begun the request to leave UNASUR. 

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The Right Thing to Do? Argentina Also out of UNASUR

All countries, due to the group’s Charter, must now wait for the standby period, which is six months since the denouncement date.  Uruguay, Venezuela, Suriname, Guayana, Bolivia, and Peru are still part of the group, even though the latter nation suspended its participation in April 2018. 

The regional bloc, whose goal was to promote regional integration since its creation in Brasilia on May 23, 2008, now faces serious obstacles as Brazil concluded the Treaty on April 15,  just hours after receiving the Pro Tempore Presidency from Bolivia. 

This means that, currently, the group lacks both a General Secretary and an active Pro Tempore President. Yet Bolivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Diego Pary, said on April 18 that even though Bolivia “respects the sovereign decision of Brazil to leave, according to the Constitutive Treaty,” as long as the country remains in the group while in the standby period, it still “has obligations" to fulfill.

 

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