‘We are paving our way to the Caribbean’ – Brazil’s Lula backs food security, integration agenda


By Vishani Ragobeer


Reflecting on Guyana’s construction of a roadway from northern Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva backed the Caribbean’s push for strengthened ties for food security and wider global south cooperation.

President Lula on Wednesday arrived in Georgetown for talks with Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders. President Ali is currently serving as the CARICOM Chairman, and hosted this week’s CARICOM summit in Guyana.

And both Presidents addressed the gathering of CARICOM officials on Wednesday at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown.

President Lula said climate change and food insecurity are two serious issues affecting both the Caribbean and Brazil. For the Brazilian leader, it is unacceptable that millions of people go hungry though the world produces enough food to feed its population, and it is unacceptable that vulnerable, Global South nations face the brunt of the climate crisis. Both issues, he said, are rooted in inequality.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva greets President Dr Irfaan Ali and other CARICOM leaders at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown (Photo: Office of the President/February 28, 2024)

President Lula, however, believes that Brazil and the Caribbean can help each other.

“One of the priorities for integration and development routes is the Guiana Shield which covers Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela,” President Lila highlighted.

“We literally want to pave our way to the Caribbean

“We will open corridors capable of meeting supply demands and strengthening food security in the region.”

Already, there is Guyana’s Linden to Lethem roadway which is currently getting much-needed upgrades. In the south, that roadway connects to the Takutu Bridge which spans across Guyana’s Region Nine and Brazil’s Bon Fim. In the north, the roadway leads to Guyana’s capital city and main port at the Atlantic Ocean, Georgetown.

And the Brazilian leader noted that his country’s northernmost cities are closer to the Caribbean than other Brazilian states. So increased trade and cooperation just makes sense.

“We see the bloc [CARICOM] as a promising economic partner and a strategic interlocutor,” President Lula said in his nearly 30-minute address.

President Ali, on the other hand, also identified food insecurity and climate change as critical issues for the two sides. Disaster preparedness, energy security and human resource training are additional areas he believes Brazil can support the region on.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva addresses the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM (Photo: News Room/February 28, 2024)

But the CARICOM Chairman also pressed for deeper, more formal ties between CARICOM and Brazil.

“Through regular dialogue and strong projects, we can forge mutually-beneficial partnerships,” Dr. Ali said, noting that the last Brazil- CARICOM summit was held 14 years ago.

Both President Ali and Lula touted more frequent CARICOM- Brazil meetings and President Ali announced that the CARICOM- Brazil Joint Commission for strategic discussions will be operationalised this year.

If momentum is sustained, Dr. Ali believes Brazil and CARICOM stand to benefit enormously.

“CARICOM and Brazil share a rich history of south-south cooperation.

“We are united not only by geography but also by our common desire to build a prosperous, peaceful and sustainable future for our people,” Dr. Ali said.

1 Comment
  1. Lynden Mona says

    we are 23 yrs aback caricom development with Brazil involvement, 2025 made compulsory for all are involved.

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