President Lula calls for Latin American integration

By Dialogo
September 08, 2010

President Lula, excuse me for telling you this but, politicians use the word “Integration” purely as rhetoric, just lip service, but in the end all that remains are the personal interests and those of everyone else from other countries above the common interest of all of Latin America, which is the people’s interest, and we end up every time at the end of our leaders terms with the same or worse poverty conditions, isolated and completely without the conditions necessary to face the future together as Latin Americans with common culture, interests and problems, all in the same boat: The earth. How are the politicians that had the power in their hands and were the “gatekeepers” going to feel after analyzing what they could have done for the people of their country and the world, and they didn’t do it? Will they feel remorse? Will their conscience bother them for the rest of their lives? Will they be reproached by their children and grandchildren? Will they be able to look people in the eye and not feel shame? In the end, may God forgive them because I don’t think mankind will. UNILA should become the nucleus of a network for integration studies centers for all of Latin America. If we don’t think of our own integration, as President Lula maintains, this will not advance and will remain limited as all of the commercial attempts have been up to now. The social, political, cultural, and energetic elements, of productive and financial cooperation and defense and security should become a part of the Latin American matrix which supports integration and as such, they should become the object of study in our Universities and research centers. Latin America should develop its own think tank in order to contribute to the integration process.
While giving the first lecture of Brazil’s Federal University for Latin American Integration (Unila) on September 2, Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva called for a quicker integration among Latin American nations.

The university was recently founded near the Paraguayan border, in Foz do Iguaçu, Parana state, in an effort to promote integration among Latin American nations, and currently has 200 students from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, according to a report by Xinhua.

“After 200 years, we are learning to walk with our own legs, see with our own eyes, talk with our own mouths, and think with our own minds”, said Lula during the lecture, adding, “That means we are truly enjoying our independence.”

President Lula also noted that Latin America is very important for Brazil’s trade, underlining that 46.7 percent of the South American giant’s exports are destined to the region. Still, he highlighted that bonds stretch beyond only economy and added that much more has to be done for regional integration, said the same report.

According to information from the country’s Education Ministry, some US$176.8 million will be invested in building Unila’s permanent campus, which is expected to recruit 10,000 students and 250 professors, of which half will be Brazilian and half will be from other Latin American countries.