Bolivia’s President Calls on South American Countries to Ditch US Dollar – Bolivia’s President, Luis Alberto Arce Catacora (Lucho Arce), has urged the member nations and associated states of the Mercosur trade bloc to de-dollarize their economies and forge stronger strategic alliances with international organizations, including the BRICS group. His emphasis lies on the need for a transition towards a multipolar world that ensures a balance of power and respects the principle of non-interference.
During the 62nd Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur and Associated States held in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, Bolivia’s President Luis Alberto Arce Catacora (Lucho Arce) made a compelling call for the de-dollarization of economies and the establishment of robust strategic alliances with international organizations, including the BRICS economic bloc.
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Mercosur, also known as the Southern Common Market, is a trade bloc in South America comprising full members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Venezuela joined as a full member in 2012 but was suspended indefinitely in late 2016. Meanwhile, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname are associate members of Mercosur, with Bolivia currently in the process of becoming a full member.
The summit saw the participation of notable leaders such as Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou, and Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez. Additionally, Bolivia’s president and the president-elect of Paraguay, Santiago Peña, were also in attendance.
The Bolivian president tweeted Tuesday at the conclusion of the meeting (translated by Google): “Our region is seriously affected by the restrictions imposed by the northern financial system, which limits financing options, making it necessary to reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar and diversify our economic relations.”
“We must seek strategic alliances with other international actors, such as China, in a Eurasian and Asian bloc that, organized within the BRICS and other integration mechanisms, are projected as spaces for the construction of a new world economic order,” he added. The BRICS nations comprise Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Regarding Bolivia becoming a full member of Mercosur, President Arce stated: “We believe that Bolivia’s accession to Mercosur represents a unique opportunity to strengthen integration, expand trade and regional cooperation.” He emphasized: “We are experiencing a crucial moment of transition towards a multipolar world that guarantees a balance of powers and respects the principle of non-interference.”
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Commenting on Brazil taking over the rotational presidency of Mercosur on Tuesday, the Bolivian leader said: “We also convey our best wishes to the incoming Brazilian presidency. We are sure that under the leadership of President Lula, guided by his integrating vision, Mercosur will continue to advance to respond to the enormous challenges that our times present.”
Lula has expressed strong support for abandoning the U.S. dollar and adopting national currencies in trade settlements. He also supports the creation of a common BRICS currency. Last month, he announced his intention to discuss de-dollarization at the upcoming BRICS meeting.