(*) Carlos Sánchez Berzain

BRICS, an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is the Group of countries that together account for 20% of world GDP, which have 40% of the population and half of the poor on the planet (1.7 billion poor).  They just created, in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, the NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK (NDB) and a Reserve Fund, with the discourse of "to face, from the financial point of view, the deficits in infrastructure and other development needs".  They are seen as an Alliance against World Bank (WB) and against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) system, and politically, it would seem seeking to institutionalize an economic support mechanism to projects that are referred to as anti-imperialist, which are not exactly democratic.

The five countries of the BRICS will contribute in equal parts to the NDB for a total capital of $ 100 billion. The Reserve Fund will receive 41 billion dollars as China contribution; Brazil, India and Russia will contribute $ 18 billion each;  and South Africa will provide $ 5 billion, which completes the capital's other $ 100 billion for this Fund.

The new entities, in addition to facilitate a greater strategic presence of China and of Russia in Latin America, are seen as an "anti-dollar alliance" and as a response to their inability to have greater influence in the World Bank and in the IMF. They seem to also to be intended as a source of financing and support to the Governments of countries that do not meet the essential elements of Democracy and freedoms, that current economic system is demanded to respect.

The global economic system was created in 1944 by the agreements of the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference held at Bretton Woods as a result of the victory of Democracy against fascism in the Second World War. It is part of the United Nations system and is based on democratic values such as respect for human rights, individual freedoms, freedom of the press and of expression, division and independence of public authorities, economic freedoms, etc. Many of these aspects are not respected by some of the main members of the BRICS and by its Latin American allies because, simply, they are not democracies.

It is not surprising that dictatorships of the 21st century socialism as Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and others under its influence as Argentina (most of them in economic crisis and others on a way to it) attended and welcomed the Organization of the NBD and the Reserve Fund of the BRICS. In addition to feel encouraged in their anti-imperialist discourse, they see in organisms of the BRICS, as sources of funding without the values of Democracy, allowing them to circumvent and replace the observance of the principles and respect for the fundamental freedoms that the democracies of the world meet.

We must remember that among the elements that allowed the recovery of Democracy in the Americas from the hands of the military dictatorships of the 1970s, there were those of economic nature, especially during inflationary crises that dictatorial governments had led their nations to, as it is currently the case with pseudo elections dictatorships who struggle to present themselves as populist democracies.

Could it be that, regarding the non-democratic Governments in Latin America led by castrism, the Bank and the Reserves Fund created the BRICS have the political aim of replacing the economic support provided by Chávez at the cost of Venezuelan oil by more than one decade? Are we facing the institutionalization of economic organizations to sustain dictatorships of the 21st century in the Americas?

The actors and existing elements indicate that the policy of the Bank and the Reserve Fund of the BRICS - if they perform - will not precisely be intended to promote the strengthening and the recovery of democracy in Latin America. Democracy and its values are not – as of present time - on the agenda of the BRICS.

(*) Lawyer and Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute of Democracy.