Brazilian President Lula Welcomes Venezuelan President Maduro, Signals Shift in Diplomatic Approach

(MENAFN) Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva warmly received Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday, marking a significant moment as it was Maduro's first visit to Brazil since 2015. Maduro, accompanied by his wife, Cilia Flores, arrived in Brasilia on Sunday ahead of a Latin American summit scheduled for Tuesday.

Diplomatic relations between Venezuela and Brazil have faced significant strain since Jair Bolsonaro assumed power in 2019. Bolsonaro had issued a decree prohibiting Maduro from entering the country and expressed his support for self-proclaimed opposition leader Juan Guaido. These actions contributed to a deterioration in bilateral relations between the two nations.

However, with Lula's electoral victory in 2022, there has been a notable shift in Brazil's diplomatic approach towards Venezuela. Lula extended an invitation to Maduro to attend his inauguration in January 2023, effectively ending the ban imposed on the Venezuelan president.

President Lula took to Twitter to express his enthusiasm for Maduro's visit, highlighting its historical significance. He expressed his eagerness to re-establish diplomatic and commercial ties with the Venezuelan government. Lula emphasized the importance of enhancing the bilateral relationship, particularly in the areas of commerce, culture, science, technology, and cooperation in tackling drug trafficking along the shared borders.

Lula underscored the significant decline in the commercial flow between Brazil and Venezuela, pointing out that it had decreased from USD6 billion to USD2 billion. Recognizing the adverse impact this decline had on both countries, Lula emphasized the potential for a revitalized relationship that extends beyond economic ties. He envisioned a multifaceted partnership that includes cultural exchanges, scientific collaborations, and joint efforts to combat drug trafficking.

The meeting between President Lula and President Maduro signifies a positive shift in Brazilian foreign policy towards Venezuela. Lula's invitation to Maduro and his commitment to re-establishing stronger diplomatic and commercial relations signal a new era in the bilateral relationship. This renewed engagement opens up opportunities for cooperation and collaboration, fostering mutual benefits and regional stability.


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