This week, the Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos will be in Brasilia to talk, with Lula, subjects of the regional agenda.
Santos wants to give a “new breath” to the relations of Colombia with its neighbors.
Besides, he wants to make good use of the Union of the South American Nations (UNASUR) so that the interests of the country aren´t affected.
It is an important change, once his predecessor, Álvaro Uribe, even was claiming to integrate the block.
Colombia, as well as Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Suriname, didn´t ratify the Constitutive Treaty of the UNASUR.
Initially, the Colombians understood the mechanism as a forum to support the strategies of Chávez in the South America.
Santos realized that, in spite of its institutional fragility, the UNASUR gained political force while approximating him of Hugo Chávez.
It is important to emphasize that the Farc went already to the UN and had no answers.
As far as it’s known, they even looked for the OAS.
Now, they take the strategy of internationalizing the Colombian internal conflict to the UNASUR, which has the sympathy of Chávez and is presided by the Ecuador of Rafael Correa.
Trapped, the guerrilla knows that Chávez can´t do much more now and tries, in all ways, a “New Caguán”, just like the time they had conditions to be re-armed, reorganized and to throw away all the conversations about peace.
The interest of the Farc is that an international mechanism “swallows its rhetoric” so that Colombia gets internationally pressed to negotiate a political solution for the conflict.
The preoccupation of Juan Manuel Santos comes from there.
So that the mechanism doesn’t be dominated by those who see in Colombia only as an ally of the United States, it is necessary to integrate the country in a concrete form.
So, the UNASUR, which was ignored by Uribe, became a priority to Santos. And such a priority that the president of Colombia intends to propose that the block is enlarged for the whole Latin America and Caribbean.
Brazil, which wasn´t visited by him before the inauguration, also is considered a key-country for the regional stability.
Juan Manuel Santos knows that Lula is on his way out, but also recognizes his strength near the ones who are more warlike.
On the other hand, Brazil has political and economical strength to make its neighbors “sit at the table”.
To Brazil, it isn’t interesting a region unstable and sensitive to periodic crises.
Recently, the Colombian chancellor, María Ángela Holguín, attended the Senate and confirmed that the priorities of the foreign politics of Juan Manuel Santos are the recovering of the relations with Ecuador and Venezuela, the cooperation with the United States, inclusive and principally in the combat to the drug traffic and to the insurgency, and the enlargement of the markets for national products.
Releasing of the nightmare represented by Farc, Colombia wants to grow and to be developed, and for so much, it claims to consolidate the treaties of free trade with the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and Bolivia.
Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay also will be targets of business missions and commercial agreements.
Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of the InfoRel and specialist in Strategies & Policies of Defense and Terrorism & Counter-Insurgency. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org