How would a war in Ukraine affect Latin America?
The world is paying attention to the situation on the border between Russia and Ukraine and war would have global consequences.
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While the diplomatic teams from Russia and the United States continue to work hard to avoid a military clash, Latin America is preparing to face some direct consequences of a conflict where it will forced to take sides.
In my remarks this morning to the @UN Security Council, a forum created for the preservation of peace and security, I addressed the most immediate threat: Russia’s looming aggression against Ukraine. https://t.co/Yesf0Yytoz— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 17, 2022
The first hope is for war not to break out in Eastern Europe and to find a peaceful solution to potential conflict that has built tension over a number of years. However, given the real possibility of combat in the region, what could happen to the countries of Latin America in a showdown of superpowers like Russia and the U.S.
Russia in Latin America
With a presence in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina, the Russian government has been increasing its influence in Latin America over the last 10 years amid a global projection strategy.
One of the most compromising situations in the region, which could generate direct conflict, is the situation on the Venezuela-Colombia border, where the government of Nicolás Maduro has the military support of Russia, and Colombia is the ally of NATO on the continent.
The threat of a regional conflict as a consequence of a war between Russia and the member countries of the Trans Atlantic Organization is not only real, but it has already been established that Russia would deploy military infrastructure to Venezuela and Cuba.
A controversial visit
Amid dialogue between the different members of NATO and the Russian government, a diplomatic by Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro drew attention because it seemed to be oblivious to the delicate situation that exists on the border.
Bolsonaro was asked to not make the trip to Moscow at this time. He didn't listen, and also gave his support to the Kremlin by strengthening its commercial relations.
In this way, and ignoring the threats of war, a controversial administration like Bolsonaro's took advantage of Putin's authoritarian image to try to gain support for a possible re-election in Brazil.
Without war being officially declared, the tense situation in Ukraine is still affecting world markets.
In addition to inflation and the lack of supplies in certain production chains, also caused by the pandemic, the war shock of would aggravate the situation by shooting up the prices of chemical products such as oil and its derivatives, and those of agro-industrial items such as the wheat.
At the moment there are no military confrontations in Latin America, but the economic blow to the countries in the region, regardless of the side they may take, could be devastating, especially considering that the world economy is going through one of its worst moments still amid the pandemic.
Although there are fears about the possibility of Russia installing military bases in the Americas, for now, this thought doesn't seem urgent for the Kremlin. For now, the real risk is in food shortages, high fuel and energy costs, as well as financial panic and inflation, which are consequences that would reach Latin American nations directly in the event of a war.