Mujica to Lula: We must build mystique, because this is the fight for another culture

Mujica to Lula: We must build mystique, because this is the fight for another culture

2023-05-31 16:21:07

Pepe Mujica and Lula Da Silva.
Pepe Mujica and Lula Da Silva.

Lula, dear comrade President,

I want to wish your initiative success with the presidents of our region. I think it is important to create a space for meeting, mutual knowledge, dialogue and reflection, which you have called a “retreat”. Presidential meetings are generally called “Summits”, but there are no summits without mountains to lean on. Those mountains are our towns.

The retreat creates a historic opportunity where the height will be set by the greatness of what the participants show. From there the mountains will move, and a village mountain range will grow, high as the Andes, symbol of the unity we are seeking. The big decisions that move the world are made elsewhere, far from our table. It is necessary to build closeness in our region to make ourselves heard internationally. The challenges that we face as humanity need collective efforts and innovative proposals more than ever.

As you know, we have held a couple of meetings with envoys from South American presidents. He looked at that handful of social and political fighters. We carried more than a century of prison and exile there, decades of experience in national governments and in social organizations, entire lives dedicated to improving the living conditions of our peoples.

But we have spent two centuries of failure trying to achieve regional integration, ever since that Bolivarian dream of a group of confederated republics, which was forgotten over time. We have enough experience not to repeat our same mistakes of the past.

It is not enough to unite, we must walk together, and if sometimes it is not possible, the doors must be open to leave and to return when possible. We must be able to build a progressive consensus that does not paralyze us and that allows those who are in a position to advance and then add those who decide so.

It is not smart to repeat failures. Innovation does not come only from technology. We can also innovate in our way of acting as political and social activists, taking into account everything that we couldn’t, didn’t want to or didn’t know how to do. You have to build, not impose.

I want to briefly share some thoughts. Consider this a modest contribution from a support group. We have no pretensions or expectations, we know that this is the weight and responsibility of those who are in governments. We work to support and defend ourselves. They are not questions of the left, of the right or of the center, but of being developed or not.

Regional integration is a goal. The path goes through the proliferation of cooperation projects between two or more countries in the region. There is an extensive and legitimate inventory of proposals embodied in recent regional meetings.

We believe that the projects must, in some way, strengthen continental solidarity and awaken a feeling of belonging. We think they should be run with the people. We believe it is essential that they be developed with an integrating vision that represents the needs, values, and desires of our peoples.

For example, a permanent platform for rapid regional response to natural disasters; improve energy integration and regional infrastructures; keep an eye on industrialization and productive complementation as a region. Stimulate trade by creating concerted forms for transactions with our own currencies, agreeing on better customs mechanisms as well as the necessary sanitary and phytosanitary harmonization.

They are examples of achievable goals. Starting from the possible to reach the desirable, promote projects that we can carry out. For this we have a fabulous tool such as CAF as a development bank.

We need to facilitate the movement of citizens. Student exchanges and the validation of diplomas must abound, multiply the meeting spaces between the new generations, whose future is now at stake.

We must unite in the protection of fresh water and the defense of nature. We all identify, from all corners of the continent, with the life that the Amazon represents, with the grandeur and dignity that the Andes evoke, with the abundance and freedom of the prairies and with the riches of the depths of our lands.

Integration will not only be the product of the vision of intellectuals and politicians, but also of the feeling and the collective imagination that knows how to build. Intellectuals and scientists think, people feel, for that we need dates, a flag and a name, even a hymn.

Without the strength of the people we will continue the same. We must build mystique, because this is the fight for another culture, something we never achieved.

Until now, when we talk about integration we have been purely Phoenicians, how much do I sell you and how much do you sell me; and the Phoenicians, who were formidable merchants, did not create any civilization.

One step on the path towards the goal of integration would be to have the same day a year on which, throughout the continent, all schools can dedicate themselves to this topic. In Portuguese, in Spanish, or in your local languages. Each one in his place and all together.

Advancing in integration means putting passion, hope and knowledge in our people.

Two organizational themes that we find useful:

1. We think that communication between the presidents should be fluid and frequent so that they can speak directly with their peers when they consider it appropriate. Each president or a member of his closest circle must have the means to easily, informally and quickly contact his peers.

2. In the cabinet or close to the president there must be a person with the function of following projects that involve two or more countries. of the region to assess progress, provide information, resolve obstacles, listen to people, encourage. This person would fulfill the function of “integration secretary” and should be active in order to motivate the corresponding state officials.

Our representatives in international forums must carry previously agreed positions and proposals to give the message that we are a region that cares for its common interests. It is desirable that our presidents incorporate allusions to the region in each speech at the national and international level.

Dear Lula,

The set of global crises that we are experiencing could lead to the collapse of the essential conditions for life on the planet. Many efforts will be necessary to face climate change, the crisis of the hegemonic economic model, the obsolete international order and the great polarizing forces. Joining forces is the least we can do to avoid being passive victims and give ourselves a chance for a better future.

We know of your leadership and effort, which encompasses much more than the region and which embodies a message of peace.

At 88 years old, the ability to dream of a different America gives life more meaning.

With the best wishes for all the participants of the Retreat, I send you a fraternal hug, your friend and companion,

Pepe Mujica.

#Mujica #Lula #build #mystique #fight #culture


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