Brazil's Position on Trade and Venezuela Leaves It Isolated among BRICS Countries

Bolsonaros foreign policy highlights a divergence from other members of the group

Patrícia Campos Mello
New Delhi

Brazil's stances on Venezuela and World Trade Organization reform are creating a rift among Brics countries (India, China, Russia, South Africa, Brazil) and it might threaten the group's meeting in Brasília on November 13 and 14. 

When it comes to Venezuela, it's 4 to 1 with Brazil on the losing end: China, Russia, South Africa, and India oppose the position of Brazil, which has aligned itself with the United States. 

(190514) -- Venezuela , May 14, 2019 (Xinhua) -- The second shipment of medical aid from China arrived at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela, May 13, 2019. The 71 tonnes of aid mainly consists of medicines and medical supplies. The first batch of medical assistance from China, made up of 65 tonnes of medicines and medical supplies, arrived in Venezuela in March. (Xinhua/Marcos Salgado)

Contrary to Brazil, none of these four countries recognize the government declared by interim president Juan Guaidó. All of them oppose any extreme intervention. 

"The Brics have always been an arranged marriage, in which the countries had nothing in common, but they tried to make it work," said ambassador Rengaraj Viswanathan, ex-director of Latin America in India's Ministry of Foreign Relations.

This week Brazil refused to sign a declaration suggested by India that completely rejects the proposed World Trade Organization changes by the United States. The USA wants to change the special treatment afforded to China and Indian within the World Trade Organization. 

"With the foreign policy proposed by Bolsonaro in Brazil, the differences have become even more accentuated. Bolsonaro does not have any interest in India or South Africa and is also ambivalent in his relations with China. There is no interest in an alliance with non-western countries, given that he wants to promote Brazil as a Western Christian country aligned with the USA," said Viswanathan, who served in Venezuela and Argentina. 

According to government employees, the Brazilian government wants to avoid at all cost that Venezuela becomes a topic among Brics, and concentrate on issues like technology, digital innovation, combating terrorism, and money laundering. However, it will be difficult to ignore the elephant in the room. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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