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Lula Promotes the Idea of a BRICS Common Currency for Global South Development

May 31, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Brazilian President Lula da Silva met with visiting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on May 29, who was in Brasilia to participate in the May 30 Unasur meeting, and then held a joint press conference with him. According to Sputnik’s account, Lula said: “I dream of having a common currency so that our countries can use it for transactions, in order to be independent from the dollar. It can’t be the case that we cannot have greater freedom to conduct our business. I dream of the BRICS having their own currency, like the European Union has the euro.”

Lula said he would promote

“the construction of an economic bloc, an environment and the economy for the environment” that would allow for the de-dollarization of the South American economies, Sputnik reported. Maduro was asked if he wanted to join the BRICS too: “If Venezuela is asked if we at some point want to be part of the BRICS, Venezuela says yes, that we would like to be part of the BRICS and participate in the construction of this new world architecture and policy.”

At the Unasur meeting the next day, Lula pushed regional integration and infrastructure projects, and on the monetary front said that the region should “deepen our South American identity also in the monetary area, through more efficient clearing mechanisms and the creation of a common reference unit for trade, reducing dependence on extra-regional currencies.” He stopped short of calling for a regional currency, which in fact is not a viable option.

Lula was quite clear about the motivation driving him, and most of the Global South, in his closing comments of his Unasur speech the next day: “And I conclude paraphrasing Ambassador Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães, who was secretary general of Itamaraty [Brazil’s Foreign Ministry]: We must refuse to spend another 500 years in the periphery. The human and material conditions for our sovereign development are in our hands.”

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