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Why Argentina’s BRICS membership may be jeopardised


BRICS leaders convened in late August in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the bloc’s 15th Summit. Founded in 2009 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China, with South Africa joining a year later, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that six more countries will join the union.

Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Argentina are slated to join the union in January 2024.

In Latin America, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared that his country’s inclusion entails “a new scenario” with growth and development potential, insisting that “we can increase our possibilities of opening new markets, consolidating existing ones, favouring investment flows, creating employment, increasing exports, and developing the application of new technologies.” 

Martin Alejandro Martinelli, a historian at the Geohistorical Observatory, National University of Lujan, and the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), considers it a “momentous and historic shift” for the countries who have joined BRICS. 

If Argentina maintains its BRICS membership, Martinelli believes it will open up new avenues for connections and exchanges on a “geostrategic, geopolitical, and geoeconomic level,” as well as the possibility of balancing on the international scene. It follows traditions of “unipolarity” and “Western dominance of world, economic, and financial organizations, as well as the military (NATO, IMF, World Bank, dollar use).”

This change entails the establishment of a belt of four continents, excluding Western Europe, Japan, and the United States, which he claims “exercised dominance through force and consent.”

Nonetheless, Argentina’s presidential election this year may have an impact on the proceedings. Argentina goes to the elections in October to elect a new President, and the country’s possible integration has been met with significant opposition from opposition presidential candidates on the right, Patricia Bullrich and Javier Milei. Far-right candidate Milei, who won Argentina’s August primary elections, has stated that he will “not promote a deal with Communists,” and has lambasted BRICS members Brazil and Chile.

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