Hoping for a Historical Turning Point

CARACAS/BERLIN (Own report) – In the prelude to the German Chancellor’s visit to Latin America at the end of next week, government advisors in Berlin are predicting that the continent is facing a “historical turning point.” According to a new analysis by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), it can be expected that the “resignation” of the seriously ill Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will provoke serious upheavals – not only in Venezuela. Cuba also could be seriously affected, due to its dependence upon Caracas. Without Chávez, Alba, the international alliance that is resisting US-American and European hegemony on the continent, would be lacking a leadership, capable of achieving its objectives, says the SWP. The think tank sees herein a window of opportunity for Berlin. It can be expected that in the coming reshuffle, Brazil will be able to reinforce its standing in South America. In Berlin, this is seen as advantageous, because Brazil is one of Germany’s most important Latin American allies. In addition, writes the SWP, this opens up new opportunities for Berlin in the “promotion of democracy” and political “counseling” in Latin America.

Chávez “Withdraws”

In a recently published analysis, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) prophesied a “historical turning point” in Latin America. According to the paper, published a few days ago, this will be caused by “the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ withdrawal from politics.” Chávez is seriously ill; his state of health is the subject of speculation by interested parties. As SWP writes, for the time being, it is not clear what consequences Chávez’ withdrawal will have for Venezuela itself.[1]

Challengers of the USA

Particularly Germany would benefit from the reinforcement of Brazil’s position. Already quite some time ago, the GIGA had explained that the elites of Brazil, which is by far the economically strongest country in Latin America, see themselves as “regional challengers of the USA.”[8] Berlin is not only seeking to gain influence in Latin America, in general, but is also in competition with the USA – in its own “backyard.” Germany has declared Brazil to be its sole “strategic partner” in Latin America and has, for years, systematically been trying to strengthen the cooperation. The German government supports “Brazil’s efforts to expand its leadership role in South America,”[9] wrote the author of a comprehensive study of German relations with that South American country, a few years ago. These efforts are aimed at reinforcing Germany’s own position in the United States’ “backyard,” using a close cooperation with a regional power. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[10]) The possible weakening of Venezuela in the post-Chávez era would be helpful.

Full article: Hoping for a Historical Turning Point (German Foreign Policy)

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