Among the reactions of heads of state in Latin America to the outbreak of the Russian military attack on Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday (24), that of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) was one of the most singular.
The silence of the Brazilian president was accompanied by the actions of Bolsonaristas on social networks trying to deny the phrase “We are in solidarity with Russia”, issued in his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow.
Without touching the subject, Bolsonaro went to São José do Rio Preto (SP) to inaugurate an urban crossing. There, he gave a 20-minute speech on other topics.
Late this Thursday morning (24) the Itamaraty released a note announcing that it “follows with grave concern the outbreak of military operations” and that it “calls for the immediate suspension of hostilities and the start of negotiations leading to a diplomatic solution to the issue”. .
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With the exception of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, the tone of pronouncements by Latin American leaders was one of condemnation of Russian military attacks on Ukrainian territory and the diplomatic resolution of conflicts.
Check out what they said:
Argentina, Uruguay and Chile
The Argentine government of Alberto Fernández issued a statement in which it “regrets the escalation of the situation”, asks Russia to cease military actions and announces a “firm rejection of the use of armed force”.
Argentina made a firm call for peace in Ukraine at the United Nations.
The Argentine Alternate Permanent Representative reiterated the firm commitment to the principle of peaceful settlement of international disputes and respect for the sovereignty of States. pic.twitter.com/b0lSCylqJO
– Argentine Foreign Ministry 🇦🇷 (@CancilleriaARG) February 24, 2022
Lacalle Pou, the Uruguayan president, posted on his social network that “Uruguay is a country that is always committed to peace. We reject actions contrary to international law and UN principles [Organização das Nações Unidas]”.
Russian military forces launched an offensive against Ukraine. Uruguay is a country that is always committed to peace. We reject actions contrary to international law and the principles of the UN. It is urgent that the negotiations return to resolve the conflict in a civilized way
– Luis Lacalle Pou (@LuisLacallePou) February 24, 2022
The Chilean president-elect, Gabriel Boric, also took a stand on social media, criticized the outbreak of the war, sympathized with the victims and stated that “Chile condemns the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and the illegitimate use of force”.
Russia has opted for war as a means of resolving conflicts. From Chile we condemn the invasion of Ukraine, the violation of its sovereignty and the illegitimate use of force. Our solidarity will be with the victims and our humble efforts with peace.
— Gabriel Boric Font (@gabrielboric) February 24, 2022
Ecuador and Paraguay
Also reaffirming that he will follow the line defined by the UN, the president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, declared in a press conference that he considers it “strange” that a crisis with these characteristics is happening in the middle of the 21st century. “Ecuador will always bet on peace and respect to multilateralism,” he said.
The position of Paraguay, chaired by Mario Abdo Benítez, was made known by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Euclides Acevedo. In an interview, the chancellor said that the government defends the ceasefire and that it is gathering more accurate information about the war.
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A little dubiously, Acevedo informed that Paraguay is in favor of dialogue to resolve conflicts and is aligned with the principles of the United Nations. But “it is worth saying that in some ways this is a subtle invasion, an attack announced a long time ago. We have to understand historically the context and the economic-energy power of Ukraine”.
According to the Paraguayan foreign minister, the country is working on the elaboration of a Mercosur communiqué on the subject.
Mexico and Colombia
“We do not accept that one country invades another”. The statement was made by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Mexican president. “We are in favor of the policy of non-intervention, of the self-determination of peoples”, highlighted Obrador at a press conference held at the country’s National Palace.
Fur TwitterColombian President Iván Duque posted a statement in which he classified the war operation as a “premeditated and unjustified attack carried out against the Ukrainian people by Russia”.
For Duque, the crisis not only undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty, but “also threatens world peace.”
Colombia categorically rejects the premeditated and unjustified attack that has been perpetrated against the Ukrainian people by Russia, which not only threatens its sovereignty but also threatens world peace. pic.twitter.com/1IbJcPsIiR
– Ivan Duke 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) February 24, 2022
Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba
Shortly after Putin recognized the independence of Ukraine’s separatist regions in the territory of Donbass, this Thursday (24), President Nicolás Maduro made a speech on Venezuelan TV.
“Venezuela is with Putin, it is with Russia, it is with the brave and just causes of the world, and we are going to ally ourselves more and more”, he announced.
“Does the world think that Putin is going to stand by and do nothing, without taking measures to protect his people?” asked the Venezuelan president.
At the head of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega declared that Russia “is simply defending itself”. The Nicaraguan president said that “Ukraine is looking for a way to join NATO [Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte] and joining NATO is saying ‘we are going to war with Russia’”.
The position expressed by Cuba, led by Miguel Diaz Canal Bermudes, did not defend Putin. Without mentioning the Russian military onslaught, the Cuban government statement vehemently criticized the United States for imposing “the progressive expansion of NATO towards the borders of the Russian Federation”.
Citing that the US government is “manipulating the international community” regarding the dangers of the invasion of Ukraine, the Cuban note stresses that the US “supplied weapons and military technology, sent troops to several countries in the region, applied unilateral and unfair sanctions and threatened with further reprisals.”
Editing: Vivian Virissimo