Brazil, Argentina Scuttle BRICS-Oriented Foreign Policy, Opt for London's Fascist Free Trade Instead

May 17, 2016

With the illegal ouster of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the era of fascist coups has returned to Ibero-America, and with it, a shift away from the BRICS-oriented policies of regional and international cooperation to promote economic development and continental integration.

The alternative, as Brazil's interim President Michel Temer has already made clear, is to "reorient" Brazil's foreign policy toward free trade, prioritizing its relationship with the U.S. —the disintegrating trans-Atlantic system—and with like-minded South American nations grouped in the pro-free-trade Pacific Alliance. The latter was created to counter the Mercosur customs union, of which Brazil and Argentina are founding members. Concluding a free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, stalled for 12 years, will now be a priority.

It was these same policy prescriptions that, according to the Argentine daily Pagina 12 May 15, Barack Obama discussed with President Mauricio Macri when Obama visited him in March—in effect, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) which George W. Bush tried, but failed to impose on Ibero-America at the November 2005 Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina. There, then-Argentine President Nestor Kirchner and his Brazilian counterpart Inacio Lula da Silva crushed the proposal and publicly humiliated Bush.

In a real "in your face" performance, on May 10, Argentine Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay proclaimed that Rousseff's removal represents a "great "opportunity to refound" Mercosur along free-trade lines. "Brazil will understand that its way of integrating itself into the world isn't an individual issue. We have to take advantage of this opportunity" to finally sign the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement, he said, "and if we do that, it will make sense to discuss a [free-trade] agreement between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance."

Yesterday, in a conference call on "After Dilma, What Lies Ahead for Brazil?" sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center's Brazil Institute, moderator Paulo Sotero, a longtime mouthpiece for London and Wall Street interests, gushed at how "impressed" he was that new Foreign Minister Jose Serra had moved aggressively on foreign policy, threatening to retaliate against nations charging that Rousseff's removal was a coup. Implicitly referencing the BRICS, another participant in the call said that Serra will break with Rousseff's international policy and the "way Brazil connects to the world," specifically mentioning the importance of allying with Argentina's Macri government.