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Lula’s Chief Foreign Policy Advisor Articulated His Boss’ Worldview In A Lengthy Interview
Celso Amorim is regarded as being among the most influential forces formulating Brazil's grand strategy, hence why his words are worth paying attention to. The present piece will summarize the insight that he shared about Lula's worldview in his lengthy interview and then constructively critique the parts related to Russia.
Celso Amorim is President Lula’s chief foreign policy advisor, having previously served as Brazil’s Foreign Minister on two occasions and once as Defense Minister. He’s accordingly regarded as being among the most influential forces formulating his country’s grand strategy, hence why his words are worth paying attention to. Amorim’s latest interview, which can be read here, articulates Lula’s worldview at length. The present piece will summarize his insight and then constructively critique the parts related to Russia.
Amorim started off by reacting to Pentagon spokesman Kirby’s recent criticism of Lula’s peace rhetoric by reminding everyone that his boss has condemned Russia’s special operation “countless times and on countless occasions.” He also claimed that Foreign Minister Lavrov “did not come to Brazil as an emissary [of Russian President Vladimir Putin]” and that “The Russian chancellor's meeting with the president [Lula] was a courtesy visit.”
Lula’s chief foreign policy advisor then added that “our attitude is clear. We have already voted on UN resolutions [condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine], he [Lula] has already spoken [condemning Russia's act]. There is no doubt that Brazil is critical.” Nevertheless, he then said that “we think is that there is no point in just doing this, or imposing sanctions, or wanting to defeat Russia”, after which Amorim segued into criticizing some Western officials’ statements about seeking Russia’s defeat.
In his view, “Russia made a mistake” in Ukraine, but Brazil wants to help it recover from that by assembling a group of countries to negotiate peace. Striving for “revenge” or trying to “teach a lesson” is dangerous, Amorim warned: “The last time a policy of this type was attempted, which was after the First World War, with the Treaty of Versailles [in which victorious countries in the war imposed tough conditions on Germany], resulted in what happened afterwards [the rise of Adolf Hitler to power].”
Regarding the EU’s extremely hostile stance towards Russia, he said that “I am not saying that she is wrong to criticize the specific action [by Russia against Ukraine]. But you have to do it in a way that doesn't preclude peace.” He defended Lula’s peace rhetoric by claiming that it’s only criticized in the West, not the Global South, and that Brazil wants to avoid a New Cold War in order for everyone to reap the benefits of multipolarity.
Amorim mentioned that Lula’s prior criticism of NATO’s eastward expansion playing a role in sparking the ongoing conflict wasn’t any different in spirit from what Kissinger earlier claimed, but this doesn’t “justify the invasion [of Ukraine by Russia]”. Despite the differences of opinion between Brazil and the US on certain issues, he said that “the United States is an excellent partner for Brazil. If you take President [Joe] Biden's social and economic policy, we have a lot of overlap with it.”
Lula’s chief foreign policy advisor then added that “The positive attitude of the Biden administration towards the electoral process in Brazil, we recognize.” Furthermore, he said that “there is no doubt that the American position, of the USA, has influence in Brazil. It has influence in all sectors of Brazilian life. And they made a correct attitude towards the Brazilian electoral process, and that is positive.” Nevertheless, Amorim clarified that this doesn’t make Brazil indebted to the US either.
In his words, “that doesn't force us to have to follow every opinion they have. We can differ, as we differ in other things, in trade negotiations and other issues…There was no pact to say: ‘Look, we support the electoral process and you will support us in our conflict against China’. No. Each country has its opinion and has the right to discuss civilly. To be able to differ.” He then praised Macron’s recent remarks about the EU’s strategic autonomy that the French leader made after his latest visit to China.
Finally, Amorim wrapped up his lengthy interview by confirming Lula has no plans “at the moment…as far as I know” to travel to Eastern Europe in taking Ukraine up on its invitation to visit or in accepting President Putin’s invitation to attend mid-June’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Having summarized the insight that he shared about his boss’ worldview, the present analysis will now transition to constructively critiquing that which relates to Russia.
The points of relevance that Amorim conveyed in his interview are as follows:
1. Lula has consistently and publicly condemned Russia’s special operation “on countless occasions”;
2. Lavrov didn’t travel to Brazil as an “emissary” of President Putin and only paid a “courtesy visit” to Lula;
3. Russia’s special operation was “a mistake”;
4. Brazil fears the rise of a Nazism in Russia if the West successfully defeats it in full like some officials want;
5. Brazil doesn’t want a New Cold War;
6. Brazil believes that mediating peace between Russia and Ukraine can possibly prevent this;
7. To that end, it wants to assemble a collection of likeminded countries such as China and others;
8. The US remains one of Brazil’s top partners despite its criticism of Lula’s peace rhetoric;
9. There is “a lot of overlap” between Lula’s and Biden’s “social and economic policy”;
10. The US’ support of Lula during the January 8th incident was deeply appreciated;
11. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that Brazil has to comply with the US’ foreign policy demands;
12. And finally, Lula currently doesn’t have any plans to visit Russia and/or Ukraine.
Each of these points will now be critiqued, with pertinent analyses hyperlinked for further insight:
1. Amorim’s reaffirmation of Lula’s condemnation of Russia “on countless occasions” shatters the weaponized conspiracy theory spread by his supporters alleging that he’s “secretly on Moscow’s side” in this conflict per some “5D chess master plan” or whatever.
2. Contrary to what he claimed, Lavrov’s position as Foreign Minister did indeed make him an “emissary” of President Putin during his latest trip to Brazil, but describing his meeting with Lula as a “courtesy visit” is a deliberate attempt to downplay the importance of those two’s talks.
3. Amorim is entitled to his opinion about Russia’s special operation, but President Putin has defended it on the grounds of protecting his country’s co-ethnics in Ukraine and ending the war that the West started, not to mention safeguarding the existence of his state in the face of NATO’s threats thereto.
4. It’s far-fetched to imagine that the West will succeed in fully defeating Russia to the point of imposing Versailles-like punishments onto it, let alone this country ever being responsible for the revival of Nazism, which makes it very surprising that Lula’s chief foreign policy advisor seriously has such fears.
5. The New Cold War between the US-led West’s Golden Billion and the Sino-Russo Entente over the direction of the global systemic transition is already in full swing, which will make it extremely difficult for Lula to execute his envisaged grand strategy of “balancing” between China and the US.
6. Even in the event that some sort of peace is ultimately mediated between Russia and Ukraine by whoever it might be, that development won’t change the abovementioned dynamics that are responsible for the New Cold War.
7. China is the only player with any realistic chance of successfully mediating an end to that conflict even though it might ultimately require France’s support in order to get the EU on board, but Brazil has no comparable role to play and will only opportunistically tag along to score political points.
8. The US does indeed remain among Brazil’s top partners and continues to exert “influence in all sectors of Brazilian life”, much more nowadays under Lula than Bolsonaro due to the close ideological alignment between his newly “woke” administration and Biden’s.
9. Amorim’s admission that there is “a lot of overlap” between Lula’s and Biden’s “social and economic policy” adds context to why Soros so enthusiastically endorsed the Brazilian leader as well as why Lula reportedly proposed launching a global influence network in joint partnership with the US Democrats.
10. His acknowledgement of US support for Lula during the January 8th incident and sincere expression of gratitude for that stance shatters the conspiracy theory that it was a US coup attempt, while also reinforcing the fact that he and Biden are united in demonizing their conservative opponents.
11. Amorim also discredited the other conspiracy theory spread by Lula’s supporters alleging that his condemnations of Russia are due to US pressure and thus aren’t sincere since his chief foreign policy advisor just confirmed that Brazil isn’t indebted to the US and formulates its policies independently of it.
12. Lastly, his claim that Lula doesn’t have any plans “at the moment” to attend mid-June’s international economic forum in St. Petersburg at President Putin’s invitation suggests that the Brazilian leader isn’t all that interested in rapidly expanding the economic dimension of his country’s relations with Russia.
The top three takeaways from Amorim’s lengthy interview about Lula’s worldview are that: his boss is sincere in his repeated condemnations of Russia; ties with it aren’t anywhere near as significant for Brazil as those with China and the US; and thus several of the Alt-Media Community’s most popular conspiracy theories were just shattered. Those who are sincerely interested in understanding Lula’s grand strategy should deeply reflect on this insight and incorporate it into their related analyses going forward.