Latin America’s political shifts are opening doors for Germany’s economy.
Many nations today are casting their gaze upon a land where natural resources are found in abundance, where raw materials are yet to be extracted, and where renewable energy resources haven’t reached their full potential. They are ogling Latin America as a region that could help them secure their economic future.
For a time, China, and to some degree Russia, seemed to gain the upper edge.
But the Trumpet did not expect that arrangement to last. “[B]e assured that Europe will not stand by passively and allow Beijing and Moscow to elbow it off the dance floor,” we wrote last year.
Now, the political landscape in parts of Latin America is changing, which may open the door for greater German involvement.
Previously, Brazil was leaning steeply toward the Asian camp. This was most evident in its membership in the brics group, which also includes Russia, China, India and South Africa.
Meanwhile, the main countries of South American trade bloc Mercosur—Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay—have begun working toward a free-trade agreement with the European Union—or the “old continent,” as they call it. Lincoln Bizzozero, program coordinator of International Studies at Uruguay’s University of the Republic, said that due to Latin America’s economic setbacks, the Mercosur countries would be more likely to give in to European demands.
Though Argentine-Chinese ties remain robust, German trade and influence could be primed for growth. In June, Argentine President Mauricio Marci told German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier that Germany would be one of Argentina’s most important trade partners. Steinmeier then encouraged Argentina’s new course of reform. A second meeting between the two is planned for next month when Marci travels to Berlin. Marci also says he is open to new negotiations between Mercosur nations and Europe, and he is putting a greater emphasis on renewable energies, which opens another door for Berlin.
Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru
Smaller Latin American nations appear eager to follow suit. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, a political foundation associated with the German Christian Democratic Union party, wrote on June 15:
More and more governments in Latin America, like in Mexico, Chile or Colombia, support a course of economic liberalism. A continuation of this trend is seen in the recently elected President Pablo Kuczynski in Peru. The economic political consequences now spread, especially over the formerly tightly closed energy markets, which now open and modernize step by step.
Mexico and Germany are already boosting their cooperation. When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto visited Berlin in April, he said, “Germany, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, is an important political player in Europe and in the world.” Germany and Mexico’s cooperation involves fighting organized crime in Mexico, establishing cooperative economic deals, and modeling Mexico’s vocational education training program after Germany’s.
Latin America and Europe—a Troubling History
The October 1957 issue of the Plain Truth magazine explained one reason why the nations of Europe and Latin America are likely to cooperate with one another: “During World War ii, Argentina was an outspoken friend of [Adolf] Hitler, sheltering Nazi officers and men, offering safe haven for Nazi ships and submarines. Many Nazis found their way to Argentina and safety while Hitler’s regime was collapsing under the steady rain of Allied bombs.”
In the years after World War ii, former Argentine President Juan Perón said he was proud that his nation had absorbed these highly educated Germans. He was certain they would hasten the development of Argentina. “The German government has invested millions of marks into the development of these people; we only paid for the airplane ticket,” he said.
Hundreds of Nazi leaders fled Europe with the support of the Vatican through the “ratlines.” Once they settled in Argentina and other Latin American countries, they received support from the local governments and the Catholic Church. They became educators and business owners, and they shaped the political and economic landscape of the country.
Full article: Germany Makes Gains in the Scramble Over Latin America’s Resources (The Trumpet)