Leaders of Mexico and Brazil are shamefully soft on Putin (OPINION)

It’s no coincidence that President Biden did not mention one single Latin American country in his State of the Union address when he listed the nations that have taken active steps to oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The response from the region’s biggest countries to Russia’s attack has been pitiful.

In his annual address to Congress on Tuesday night, Biden said that “France, Germany, Italy, as well as countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and many others — even Switzerland — are inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine.”

He added that, “together, along with our allies, we are right now enforcing powerful economic sanctions.”

But, unfortunately, the leaders of Latin America’s two biggest democracies — Brazil and Mexico — not only refused to impose sanctions on Russia for its inexcusable invasion of a sovereign and democratic country, but personally failed to condemn it.

Interestingly, Brazil and Mexico are led by democratically-elected authoritarian populists who come from opposite sides of the political spectrum. Their reaction to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is further evidence that the new ideological divide in the 21st century is not between left and right, but between democracy and dictatorship.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist who is close to former President Trump and had visited Putin in Moscow last month, said several days after the invasion that he would remain “neutral” in the Ukraine crisis.

At a Feb. 27 press conference, Bolsonaro added that Brazil buys much of its fertilizer from Russia, and that he does not want his country’s economy to be affected by the war.

Bolsonaro also refused to sign an Organization of American States resolution condemning the invasion, which was supported by the United States and 23 countries.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER ON THE MIAMI HERALD

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