In St. Petersburg, Ecuadorean Minister Tells Ibero-Americans to "Change the History of Civilization"

June 17, 2016

In an interview with Sputnik Thursday, Ecuador's Minister of Knowledge and Human Talent, Andres Arauz, urged Ibero-American participants in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), to pay close attention to how China's New Silk Road, the BRICS Bank, and other new financial institutions are embarking on great projects to "change the history of civilization." South America must do the same, he said.

"We view with envy," Arauz said, "the great projects that change the history of civilization, with the New Silk Road that China has proposed to the world, the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS Bank, the Eurasian project which Russia defends... we are envious because, while South America proposed this ten years ago, we failed to consolidate it... We hope that the lessons posed at the St. Petersburg Forum can be applied to our region," Arauz told Sputnik. Russia, he said, is not only a trading partner, but "a strategic ally of Ecuador and the region."

Arauz is one of hundreds of government ministers and other officials attending SPIEF from South and Central America and the Caribbean, seeking greater economic and trade cooperation, as well as scientific and technological agreements, with Russia, China, the nations of Asia, Africa and Europe. The U.S., under Barack Obama, offers them nothing except "green" technology, austerity and depopulation.

In the course of the three-day SPIEF gathering, there are two seminars dealing with Ibero-America: "Russia-Latin American SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) as Catalysts in Building Value," and "Russia-Latin America: Foreign Trade and Investment Cooperation as Drivers of Economic Growth." The panels include Russian speakers and representatives from Ibero-America and the Caribbean. Alexander Shchetinin, director of the Latin America Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Nicaragua's Radio Primerisima that SPIEF will "open additional opportunities to consolidate, above all, the economic relations among our countries."

In an interview with RT Thursday, Uruguay's Vice President Raul Sendic, who had just spent three days in Moscow, echoed the same sentiment.

"This relationship with Russia is good for America," he said. "Strengthening our relationship with Russia favors the balance of forces in the world, and opens to America, as well as to Russia, enormous opportunities."