Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva welcomed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday, marking Maduro’s first visit to Brazil since 2015.
Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, arrived in Brasilia on Sunday ahead of a Latin American summit scheduled for Tuesday.
Diplomatic relations between Venezuela and the South American powerhouse have been significantly strained since Jair Bolsonaro assumed power in 2019. Bolsonaro issued a decree prohibiting Maduro from entering the country and expressed his support for self-proclaimed opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Following Lula’s triumph in the 2022 elections, there has been a dramatic shift in the diplomatic approach towards Venezuela. Lula extended an invitation to Maduro to attend his inauguration in January 2023, ending the ban imposed on Maduro.
President Lula took to Twitter to express his enthusiasm for Maduro’s visit, considering it a historic moment. He expressed his eagerness to re-establish diplomatic and commercial relations with the Venezuelan government.
“Our commercial relationship once had a flow of 6 billion dollars. Today it is 2 billion. This is bad for Venezuela and for Brazil. But the relationship between our countries can also be cultural, economic, in the exchange of science and technology, in the fight against drug trafficking on our borders,” wrote Lula.
For his part, Maduro also applauded the resumption of the bilateral relationship between the countries.
“My meeting with the President @LulaOficial constitutes a historic, transcendental fact and a victory for the dignity of our peoples. The rescue and reinvigoration of the union between Brazil and Venezuela is the correct path that will lead us towards the development and integration of the Great Homeland,” Maduro tweeted.
The South American Leaders Summit will be held Tuesday in Brasilia at the Itamaraty Palace. The presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela have confirmed their presence.
Source: Anadolu Agency