Lula Steps In: Brazil Fills Vacuum Left by American Disengagement

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A deft diplomatic intervention to shore up Bolivia’s beleaguered government demonstrated Brazil’s newfound willingness to exert strong political leadership in South America, filling the vacuum created by America’s disengagement with the region’s leftist presidents. Bolivia’s domestic turmoil led South American leaders to convene a heads-of-state summit for members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), a body created only four months before. The Sept. 15 summit, held in Chile, was in many ways UNASUR’s trial by fire, and by all accounts it was a Brazilian show, with President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva leading the negotiations. “With the United […]

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