Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Welcome back to Foreign Policy’s Latin America Brief. This week’s highlights include Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s trips to Egypt and Ethiopia, a new development in Haiti’s investigation into the 2021 assassination of the president, and a cabinet reshuffle in Peru. If you want to keep up with Latin America Brief every Friday, sign up to our newsletter. President Lula da Silva chose to travel to East Africa amid many Western officials debating geopolitics at the Munich Security Conference. Lula visited Egypt and Ethiopia, where he discussed the Israel-Hamas war, signed memorandums of understanding, and attended a session of the Arab League. Then, Lula headed to the annual African Union (AU) leaders’ summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During his address to the AU, Lula emphasized the importance of the global south in addressing major world crises. He also discussed Brazil’s priorities for its yearlong G-20 presidency, including tackling world hunger, reforming multilateral organizations, and fair sovereign debt treatment for struggling borrowers. Lula’s visit to Africa aimed to reinforce Brazil’s foreign policy focus on rallying the global south. Lula accused Israel of war tactics comparable to Adolf Hitler’s actions during the Holocaust, which led to a fierce rebuke from Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz naming Lula a “persona non grata” in his country. Brazil then recalled its ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations. Easing relations with African countries and increasing trade could boost Brazil’s economy, which is the goal behind Lula’s maneuver to leverage wealthier creditors to restructure and partially forgive Brazil’s loans to several African governments like Ghana, Mozambique, and Senegal. Brazil’s foreign policy toward Africa is part of a larger geopolitical strategy, and success will depend on concerted efforts. In other news, Ecuador canceled a deal with the United States to supply weapons parts to Ukraine after economic retaliation from Russia that led to trade embargoes on Ecuadorian bananas then later lifted by Russia. In Haiti, a new twist in the investigation into President Jovenel Moïse’s 2021 assassination saw the inclusion of Moïse’s wife on a list of 51 people indicted in the case. Lastly, Peru saw a major reshuffle in its cabinet last week.

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