BRICS represents ‘future of humanity’ – Venezuelan president
The BRICS group of nations represents “humanity’s future” due to its sheer economic power, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has argued. He also claimed that his fellow Latin American leader, Argentinian President Javier Milei, had shot his own country in the foot by turning down an invitation to join.
On January 1, the group, originally comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, welcomed Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the UAE and Saudi Arabia into its ranks. However, Milei, who assumed office in December 2023, has made a U-turn on his predecessor Alberto Fernandez’ plans for membership.
In an interview with the Spanish-language edition of Le Monde Diplomatique on Monday, Maduro said that the decision was “one of the clumsiest and stupidest things Milei has done against Argentina.”
According to the Venezuelan leader, the new president in Buenos Aires has taken his country back to the 19th century and is turning it into a “vassal of the imperial unipolar world.”
As for Venezuela, Maduro expressed hope that it would be accepted as a permanent member of BRICS+ at the next summit in Russia in October 2024. Caracas expects to acquire full membership in BRICS proper “sooner rather than later,” he said.
Maduro explained that the bloc’s concept and worldview are congruent with those of Venezuela. Moreover, the president noted that his government hopes to attract more investment and find new markets for its own goods with the help of BRICS.
Last Friday, Milei’s spokesperson Manuel Adorni confirmed media reports that Buenos Aires had sent formal letters to all five founding members of BRICS. The messages, which several outlets claim to have seen, clarified that the new Argentinian government does not consider BRICS membership “appropriate at this time.”
Russia, meanwhile, has assumed the one-year rotating presidency of the group for 2024. In a statement released on Monday, President Vladimir Putin vowed to “facilitate the harmonious integration” of new partners, noting that around 30 countries had expressed a desire to participate in the bloc’s agenda in one form or another.
“To this end, we will start working on the modalities of a new category of BRICS partner country,” Putin added.
According to the IMF, the expanded BRICS now accounts for 36% of global GDP in terms of purchasing power parity, surpassing that of the G7, an informal grouping of Western countries.