Originally published on Sputnik Brazil
By Lucas Rocha
While Europe promotes an extensive and almost suicidal sanctions plan against Russia devised by the United States in the face of the conflict in Ukraine, countries in Latin America remain resistant to retaliatory measures against Moscow. If before the West dictated rules without question, today it seems to have lost that power.
For an expert heard by Sputnik Brasil, the general position of Latin American and African countries and the so-called Global South in the face of the conflict demonstrates a great “Western failure”.
The most recent sign of this phenomenon was the insistence of the leaders of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the question of supply of armaments and ammunition to the Kiev regime.
Latin American countries promptly responded negatively to western demand and continue to resist the pressures they have been suffering. The President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been preaching the negotiation of peace through the creation of a group of countries that can mediate the conflict. the plateau kept the neutral position even after meetings with US President Joe Biden in Washington and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Brasília.
Not even Colombiawhat is officially a “global partner” of NATOagreed to send military equipment to Ukraine.
Resistance to imposition attempts by Western powers is not restricted to Latin America. Since the beginning of the conflict and the first requests by the US and its European partners for a major international boycott of Russia, countries from different parts of the world, especially in Africa, have positioned themselves against this idea.
Not Saturday (18), Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeje Odongo, denounced the pressure the country has been under from “ex-colonizers” to turn against Russia and said Kampala would maintain relations with Moscow.
“We were colonized and we forgive those who colonized us. Now the colonizers ask us to be enemies of Russia, which never colonized us. It’s fair? Not so for us: your enemies are your enemies, our friends are our friends. There should be no interference in this matter,” said Odongo.
This firm position has generated discomfort in Kiev. In a recent interview, the Ukrainian chancellor, Dmitry Kuleba, acknowledged that relations with Latin America are not as close as they would like and are being reassessed.
The minister criticized the non-involvement stance of countries that do not send weapons “because that encourages war” and said that, in reality, “they want Ukraine not to fight.” Kuleba added that “if we don’t have weapons, and Russia does, Russia wins, it’s very simple”.
Mamadou Alpha Diallo, professor of international relations at the Federal University of Latin American Integration (Unila), told Sputnik Brasil that the negative reaction of Latin American and African countries to European pressures demonstrates a weakening of Western power.
“If we consider the West as the center of the world, what we see is that this power is given from the moment that others are submitted to the West. The moment others fail to obey, that power weakens. You command while someone obeys. The power of the West is nothing without the rest of the world, including it was built on it.”
Diallo points out that the process of strengthening the periphery of the world-system has been built for some time and has an impact on the European posture. According to the analyst, this empowerment of the Global South makes the West more aggressive. “They are losing space, and this increases the number of crises and conflicts”, he assesses.
“Today Europe has little to offer. And, on the contrary, Europe needs Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. The periphery will not follow the Global North.”
According to the researcher, two processes help to explain this reaction to the Ukrainian conflict: the COVID-19 pandemic and the failure of the so-called “war on terror”.
“The crisis in Ukraine happens almost like the COVID-19 pandemic, in which everyone seemed to have to fend for themselves. One of the things that the pandemic, then, showed is that there is no point in depending on the other. This generated an increase in the periphery’s confidence in solving their problems. And with that, countries realize that they can disobey the orders of Western masters.”
“The ‘war on terror’ turned into a global war by the West attacking the entire world, and this was very frowned upon, mainly because they failed to win.. The most emblematic is the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. These images symbolize failure. Many died, economies died, countries were destabilized, such as Syriasupposedly ‘in the name of rights, of democracy’, something that never happens”, points out Diallo.
The professor considers that after the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s and conflicts that the United Nations (UN) “could have avoided, but added fuel to the fire”“African countries have realized that they need to take care of one’s own problems. African problems no longer depend directly on Western solutions.”
Diallo believes that the conflict in Ukraine opens up opportunities for the countries of the South to come together while Europe foments the fight.
“Our big problem is the lack of unity in the countries of the South. If you have an integrated Latin America, an integrated Africa, you have a power. War is an opportunity for South–South relations to be strengthened. Africa and Latin America integrated and together would consist of a global power that does not lag behind China, ”he said.
Alternatives such as the BRICS bank, according to the specialist, are very important for a reduction of dependency on the West.
“If the BRICS consolidates itself as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund [FMI] and the World Bank, any of the countries in Latin America and Africa will not need to borrow money from the West. […] If you take away the European presence, these countries manage to boost the economy, social and political relations”, he concludes.
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