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The Reported CELAC-EU Brouhaha Over Ukraine & Reparations Distracts From A Key Point
The CELAC states signaled that the EU’s hostility towards Russia wouldn’t affect their bilateral ties by dint of preparing for their first summit in eight years despite that bloc waging a proxy war against the same country with whom some of its own members are strategic partners. Brussels should have appreciated this impressive display of pragmatism and strategic autonomy by those states, but instead its policymakers thought that they could weaponize this event against Russia.
Politico recently reported that the upcoming CELAC-EU Summit that’s planned to take place in Brussels from 17-18 July has suddenly been beset by sharp disagreements over Ukraine and reparations. CELAC allegedly objected to the EU-drafted joint statement’s condemnation of Russia, after which the outlet’s sources claim that they sent a counterproposal removing all references to the Ukrainian Conflict but then included a demand for reparations stemming from their colonial-era occupation.
The scandal is entirely the fault of the EU after unrealistically expecting that CELAC as a whole would agree to condemn Russia. Despite the vast majority of the latter’s members voting at the UNGA to condemn Russia’s special operation in March, suspend it from the Human Rights Council in April, and then condemn its unification with four former Ukrainian regions in September, they don’t want the Ukrainian Conflict to interfere with the work of their summit in any way.
This explains why they reportedly removed any referenced to it in the EU-drafted joint statement and also blocked Zelensky’s appearance at the event, both of which would have distracted from the substance of their talks. Not only that, but some CELAC members either abstained or voted against those abovementioned UNGA Resolutions, hence the political impossibility of the group as a whole agreeing to condemn Russia and yet another reason why it doesn’t want to discuss the Ukrainian Conflict.
As a riposte to being disrespected by such an unrealistic demand reportedly being made of them and to pander to some of its members’ leftist supporters, CELAC that allegedly demanded reparations from the EU, but this is equally unlikely to succeed. Most contemporary European countries had nothing to do with colonialism and were themselves colonized by erstwhile continental empires so there’s no way that they’d agree to having their citizens pay reparations for crimes that they didn’t commit.
Regardless of whatever one’s position may be towards these sensitive issues, the resultant brouhaha distracts from the fact that the upcoming CELAC-EU Summit will be the first one in eight years. Extrapolating from this observation, the event was obviously planned sometime in the preceding sixteen months since the start of Russia’s special operation, which in turn means that the EU’s sanctions against that country with whom some CELAC members are strategic partners didn’t affect their bilateral ties.
To the contrary, the timing of their summit’s preparations suggests that CELAC as a whole doesn’t consider EU-Russian relations to be of relevance to them, whether as an organization or in terms of their ties with the EU. This speaks to the group’s pragmatism in not letting their partners’ relations with third parties affect their bilateral ones with any given counterpart, though this insight further reinforces the suspicion that it was deeply offended by the EU’s reported demand for them to condemn Russia.
After all, the CELAC states had already signaled that the EU’s hostility towards Russia wouldn’t affect their bilateral ties by dint of preparing for their first summit in eight years despite that bloc waging a proxy war against the same country with whom some of its own members are strategic partners. Brussels should have appreciated this impressive display of pragmatism and strategic autonomy by those states, but instead its policymakers thought that they could weaponize this event against Russia.
That was an epic miscalculation which severed the trust that the EU had been working so hard to earn over the years across this swath of the Global South, ergo why it’s likely the case that CELAC’s reported reparations demand was a riposte to being disrespected by its partners and not just leftist pandering. The latter’s members sincerely wanted to explore the comprehensive expansion of bilateral ties in spite of EU-Russian tensions, but now some of them might be having doubts about the wisdom of doing so.
The EU’s demand that they all condemn Russia, which is unrealistic to expect due to some of its members’ refusal to vote against their strategic partner at the UNGA, shows that CELAC’s transatlantic partners don’t truly respect or understand it. Accordingly, there are now grounds for them to wonder whether they themselves ever truly understood the EU. Unless this growing distrust is nipped in the bud, then it risks derailing their upcoming summit to the detriment of both.
In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with any two parties comprehensively expanding bilateral ties, with the CELAC-EU example being no exception. Closer socio-economic engagement is always mutually beneficial, but only so long as it’s done on equal terms with each party respecting the other. The problem that just arose in those two’s ties is that the EU thought that it could weaponize their upcoming summit against Russia, which showed that it doesn’t truly respect CELAC or regard it as an equal.
This arrogant attitude destroys the basis upon which their bilateral ties were supposed to be expanded. By rejecting the reported EU-drafted joint statement’s condemnation off Russia, CELAC isn’t expressing so-called “pro-Russian” sentiment like many in the Alt-Media Community (AMC) and the Mainstream Media (MSM) are manipulatively claiming for polar opposite ends, the first of which considers this false perception to be something positive while the second regards it as negative.
These supposedly competing media camps are each uncomfortable acknowledging that Brazil’s Lula condemned Russia in his joint statement with Biden in early February and then ordered his country to vote against its BRICS partner at the UNGA later that month. His political alignment with the West against Russia in the most geostrategically significant conflict since World War II shatters the AMC’s and MSM’s lie that this regional leader is “pro-Russian”, yet they still propagate it for ideological reasons.
It's crucial to clarify the truth so that observers aren’t misled by their very suspicious narrative convergence about this, which is relevant in the context of the present piece because it could make them think that CELAC is “pro-Russian” when its members’ UNGA voting history proves that they aren’t. Most also condemned that Eurasian Great Power in late February on the one-year anniversary of its special operation, which shows that their views about this conflict remain consistent.
Nevertheless, it’s not because of Russia that they reportedly opposed the EU-drafted joint statement, but because the demand being made of them was disrespectful, unrealistic, and showed that their transatlantic partners don’t truly regard them as an equal. Up until this scandal, CELAC sincerely wanted to comprehensively expand bilateral ties with the EU, which is something that the AMC is also uncomfortable discussing since it shows that the region considers that bloc to still be a major player.
That’s another reason why they’re lying by pushing the narrative that CELAC is “pro-Russian” since it’s against their ideological agenda to admit that the EU is still a relevant global actor even though it mostly operates under US influence nowadays. The brouhaha over Ukraine and reparations distracts from this key point and the supplementary one that CELAC prepared for its first summit with the EU in eight years despite the latter’s hostility towards Russia, which no honest observer from either media camp can deny.