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VIDEO | Lula and Maduro strengthen Brazil-Venezuela ties at South America Summit

Calls for regional integration and challenges faced to its improvement highlighted

São Paulo (Brazil) |
South American Presidents during summit in Brasilia - Ricardo Stuckert/PR

In a significant display of regional diplomacy, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva welcomed President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela to Brazil on May 29. President Maduro's visit was in conjunction with a meeting that brought together leaders from twelve South American countries on May 30. During their encounter, President Lula emphasized the importance of the broad relationship between Brazil and Venezuela, expressing his hope that the two nations will never break ties again.

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The South America summit, held in Brasília, aimed to bolster regional integration and cooperation. While consensus on certain matters remained elusive, President Lula proposed the revival of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), an intergovernmental organization that promotes regional integration. However, he also expressed openness to exploring other possibilities for achieving this goal.

Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement (MST), the largest social movement in the country and a leading advocate for agrarian reform, currently faces attacks from conservative factions in congress and the media. In late April, a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, predominantly controlled by right-wing parties, was approved in the Chamber of Deputies, targeting the MST's activities.

Also, on What's Happening in Brazil: the privileges enjoyed by high-ranking military officials in Brazil is another issue that has drawn attention. The payment of full pensions to their heirs and the pensions of generals alone cost the public coffers approximately 3 billion reais annually, equivalent to around 600 million dollars. This stark example sheds light on the considerable influence wielded by the armed forces in Brasília's political landscape.

Despite Brazil's status as a country blessed with the world's largest volume of fresh water, access to clean drinking water remains a significant challenge for a considerable portion of its population, particularly those residing in rural and peripheral areas. To address this issue, a social organization has recently launched the "water fund" project, aiming to reverse this situation and improve water accessibility for marginalized communities. For further insights on this subject, please refer to today's culture talk.

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Edited by: Flávia Chacon