Political analyst Andrés Oppenheimer (born in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is the editor and syndicated foreign affairs columnist with The Miami Herald, anchor of “Oppenheimer Presenta” on CNN En Español, and author of seven books, several of which have been published in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese.
Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina’s latest actions on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are shameful. The next time these populist governments claim to be champions of the principle of non-intervention in other countries’ internal affairs, they should be called out for what they are — hypocrites and cowards.
While the three countries initially condemned Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations, alongside the vast majority of the world’s diplomatic community, they since have undermined international efforts to punish Russia for its unjustified attack on a sovereign country.
On April 20, when U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and finance ministers from the world’s biggest democracies walked out of a G-20 meeting in Washington, D.C., as their Russian counterpart took the podium, they were not joined by their peers from Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
Instead, the finance ministers of these three Latin American countries stayed in the room, according to Argentina’s daily La Nación. By not walking out, they shunned Western efforts to suspend Russia from international groups such as the G-20, a consultation group of the world’s richest countries, and tacitly handed a propaganda victory to Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin.
A day later, on April 21, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina failed to support an Organization of American States (OAS) resolution that suspended Russia as a permanent observer of the 34-country group.
The OAS resolution was passed with 25 votes in favor, including those of Chile and Peru, both of them leftist governments, and eight abstentions. Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Honduras were among the countries that abstained.
Ukraine’s government is openly disappointed by the lack of active support from some of Latin America’s biggest democracies. While traditionally neutral countries elsewhere, such as Switzerland, Sweden, and Japan, are imposing sanctions on Putin’s regime, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina are not even willing to take symbolic measures against Russia.