Bogotá, (EFE).- Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced on Tuesday that his country will rejoin the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) from which he withdrew in 2018 during the government of his predecessor, Iván Duque (2018- 2022).
“I have decided to reintegrate the country into Unasur, ratifying the treaty approved by Congress through law and I have requested that it be called the Association of South American Nations to guarantee pluralism and permanence over time,” the president said in his Twitter account. Twitter.
Colombia had withdrawn from that union on August 10, 2018, just three days after the start of Duque’s term, who considered that body an “accomplice of the Venezuelan dictatorship.”
Petro’s decision was made known just during his participation in a regional summit in Brasilia called by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, which resulted in a firm commitment to integration.
In addition to Petro, the summit was attended by the presidents of Argentina, Alberto Fernández; Bolivia, Luis Arce; Chile, Gabriel Boric; Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso; Guyana, Irfaan Ali; Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez; Suriname, Chan Santokhi; Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, and Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, while Peru was represented by the President of the Council of Ministers, Alberto Otárola.
Departure from Unasur
When he announced the decision to withdraw Colombia from Unasur, Duque pointed out that the bloc, formed in Brazil in 2008, was created “to fracture the inter-American system” and added that it served as a “wild card” for “the purposes of a dictatorship.” .
Duque then stated that Unasur “never” denounced the “outrages” of the Maduro government and that it did not “exercise” its duty to guarantee that these actions did not “constitute the elimination of citizen liberties”, for which reason he considers it the ” greatest accomplice of the Venezuelan dictatorship”.
For this reason, a year later, together with the then president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, he created the Forum for the Progress of South America (Prosur), which sought to replace Unasur.
Unasur entered into a crisis in 2017 when the twelve member countries could not agree on a new secretary general, a situation that was aggravated by the conflicting positions on the Venezuelan crisis.
Between 2018 and 2020, various Latin American states, including Argentina and Brazil, then governed by presidents aligned to the right, decided to leave the bloc, assuring that it was ideologized, so Unasur, in which only Guyana, Suriname, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru, was deactivated in practice.
This year, Argentina and Brazil announced their return to the organization and at the beginning of April, the authorities of both nations met in Buenos Aires to address the challenges to reactivate Unasur.