What Are Latin American Leaders Saying About Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine?

Lead Photo: Credit: Ayhan Altun
Credit: Ayhan Altun
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Government leaders in Latin American countries like Argentina, Colombia, and Chile were strong in their outright condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, while others simply called for more dialogue to happen.

On February 24, Russia engaged in a full-scale invasion of Ukraine after autocratic Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a “special military operation” to “denazify” their neighbor to the west.

Over the last few days, leaders like Colombia president Iván Duque have spoken out firmly against Russia’s aggressive tactics.

“Colombia categorically rejects the attacks against Ukraine by Russia,” Duque said in a statement. “These acts threaten the sovereignty of Ukraine and put the lives of thousands of people at risk, in an unquestionable situation contrary to international law and the United Nations Charter. We reject the war and join the international voices calling for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.”

Other Latin American leaders, including the foreign ministers of Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay, signed a joint letter rejecting the Russian invasion.

“It’s very clear to us that we’re dealing with an invasion, there’s no longer any doubt about that,” said Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard. “It’s an operation with a scale that covers almost the entire territory of Ukraine. Our main position is to reject the use of force and vigorously condemn the presence of Russian Federation forces in Ukrainian territory.”

Brazil signed the letter, too, but days before, the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, scolded his own vice president, Hamilton Mourao, for condemning Russia’s attack. And just recently Bolsonaro said Brazil will adopt a neutral stance on Ukraine.

Other countries like Cuba, Venezuelan, and Nicaragua apparently blamed the United States for the war, with Cuba referring to “U.S. efforts to continue the progressive expansion of NATO.” And President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela went as far as saying, “The peace of Russia is the peace of the world, and we will defend the world’s peace.”