Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lula Meets Barack

Politically it is positive for both these leaders as well as it augur good for world stability. If Brazil and USA can co-ordinate some part of their responses in G-20 meetings, that will be quite helpful. Lula has tremendous credibility with him, one of the rare stalwarts on today’s global politics. Relative strength of Brazilian economy and Lula’s popular and progressive politics make Brazil quite important in today’s global equation. That is what Obama will try to cash in. For Lula, it is the Obama brand and America’s progressive election of the first black president; that is something to rub on. Too bad Lula will be not around for long since after two terms he vacates his office for some one else. Hopefully by then Lula and Obama have put in good foundation for long lasting relationship.

The other running theme for this visit is Obama’s attempts to repair America’s relations with Latin American countries. Though Obama talked with the looser President of Argentina, in an attempt to level Brazil and Argentina; it is the Brazil which in the end matters. Not only anti-American sentiments can be reduced by Brazil, better relations with Brazil will help to hedge steady drift of Latin America to China. Keeping Lula and Brazil happy will also put breaks on shenanigans of Venezuela President Chavez, at much lesser cost.

Obama’s Latina American Foreign Policy is starting to move in right directions. VP Biden’s visit to another fertile land – Chile – would be a right start too. Everyone knows that days of treating Latin America as USA’s backyard are gone. Getting some anchor relations right in that hemisphere, Brazil and Chile, would make the world that much stable. Solid democratic credentials of Brazil and Chile in last few decades make it natural for America to try to repair relations with these countries as a good start.

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