South America Nations Found Union
BBC News, May 23, 2008
Some members hope Unasur could
become a regional version of the
The leaders of 12 South American nations
have formed a regional body aimed at
boosting economic and political integration
in the region.
At a summit in Brazil, they signed a treaty
which created the Union of South American
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
said the move showed that South America was
becoming a "global player".
But tensions between several members will
make it difficult for the group to achieve
its goals, observers say.
Mr Lula said at the summit in Brasilia that
the differences between some Unasur
governments were a sign of vitality in the
"The instability some want to see in our
continent is a sign of life, especially
political life," Mr Lula said.
"There's no democracy without people
[protesting] in the streets," he added.
The treaty envisages that Unasur will have a
revolving presidency and bi-annual meetings
of foreign ministers.
Prior to the Brasilia summit, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez described the "empire"
of the United States as Unasur's "number one
Mr Chavez is embroiled in a bitter
diplomatic row with his Colombian
counterpart Alvaro Uribe - a staunch US ally
- over Colombian claims that Venezuela has
been helping to finance the activities of
the Colombian Farc rebels.
The Unasur members are Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana,
Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and
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