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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: Farewell to The “Diplomacy of Reason”
Former Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel explains how when Brazil's Luiz Felipe Lampreia died February 2, Latin America lost one of its great saviors, responsible for BOTH free trade AND for corruption busting -- both essential for development.

By Beatrice E. Rangel

Luiz Felipe Lampreia left this world on the same day most of Hispanic nations were commemorating the day of Our Lady of Candelaria. Curiously enough, the religious celebration centers around light and light was the differentiating attribute of Lampreia’s tenure as foreign minister of Brazil and his public service.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Lampreia was a standard bearer of carioca creativity. His passion for music and fine performing arts was well known. While Millennials get their act together by means of meditation, Luiz Felipe would resort to Gregorian Chants for decompression and inspiration.

His knowledge and command of geopolitics was admired by Brazilians and feared by competing nations. His staunch belief in the virtues of balance of power to bring long term stability was well known.

He also surmised the idea that rule of law is essential to development and that it could be fostered through international institutional development. And this belief led him to make two fundamental pieces of international legislation a reality: The UN Convention Against Corrupt Practices and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

You could safely conclude that WTO was Lampreia’s favorite brain child.

A staunch believer in the benefits of free trade, he was also convinced that the only way to liberate developing nations from “negative externalities” such as interest groups opposing competition in trade was to establish a powerful international institution capable of breaking these development obstacles.

Lampreia dedicated a significant part of his diplomatic life to the establishment of WTO.

He skillfully sorted an incredible chain of obstacles created first by many Latin nations and then by Europe.

His dedication to negotiations of GATT’s Uruguay Round on trade liberalization made a very significant difference.

Indeed at the 11th hour when every obstacle had been brought down by Lampreia’s intellectual foxiness, Europe tried to stop the creation of WTO by introducing the TV Without Frontiers directive that virtually placed all communications services outside the reach of WTO.

Lampreia's masterful command of rules of procedure will be recorded by diplomatic history, as this talent allowed the international community to cage Europe’s last minute protectionist drive to not only establish WTO but to set the ground work for the General Agreement on Trade Services signed in 1995.

GATS has since been responsible for the growth boom experienced by the whole world from the turn of the century up and until the financial crisis of 2008. GATS liberated communications from protectionism thereby unleashing trade potential everywhere.

Lampreia’s other master work of diplomacy was the Palermo Convention on Corrupt practices, Money Laundering and Terrorism Finance. This piece of international legislation created the foundations for the effective international fight against corruption. Paradoxically, this very same legislation also allowed Brazilian prosecutors to unveil the horrific corruption in Petrobras.

But above all, Lampreia was the greatest lover Latin America will ever have. His never ending enchantment with the continent baptized by Columbus as “the land of grace” led Lampreia to fight everywhere for the region’s freedom and democracy.

He was the lonely voice that described the rising populism of the late 1990s as a threat to the region's peace, stability, and progress. He was a critic of President Lula’s ideological diplomacy, opposing as alternative the diplomacy of reason that should aim at strengthening Latin America’s capacity to compete with the rest of the world in trade while disseminating its cultural might. His death leaves a profound void in Latin America’s global leadership.

Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.



Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet series

Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities

Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?

Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion

Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear

Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor

Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis

Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen

Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70

Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders

Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters

Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies

Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus

Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash

Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air

Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice

Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome

Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World

Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?

Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit

Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World

Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity

Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox

Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care

Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves

Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters

Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???

Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks

Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls

Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE

Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!

Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!

Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way

Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?

Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths

Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil

Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace


 

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