News from Brazil

Politics & Government

In Brazil on December 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm

POLITICS

Congressman Antonio Palocci will head Dilma Rousseff’s team when she takes power January 1. Chief of staff is seen as the most powerful Cabinet post (MercoPress).

The Brazilian opposition has criticized the purchase of a new presidential aircraft for president-elect Dilma Rousseff claiming it is excessively luxurious and expensive (MercoPress).

According to documents found among those released by Wikileaks, Brazilian president Lula da Silva concludes his eight years in office with a performance marked by open corruption “among his closest political allies”, with a “plague” of vote-buying in Congress and the ruling party, and without having given a reply to the issue of crime (Mercopress).

INTERNATIONAL

Rooted in democracy and economic stability and propelled by President Lula’s extraordinary popularity and assertive foreign policy, Brazil’s recent rise has allowed the country to gain a new global pre-eminence despite its failure to achieve the stated goals of its international strategy. Consolidation of the nation’s place and influence will depend as much on its ability to tackle domestic vulnerabilities, such as low competitiveness and low savings and investment rates that limit potential economic growth, as on its capacity to calibrate ambition to its position in the redistribution of international power under way in the early twenty-first century (UK Politics, pdf).

Brazil recognized on Friday the state of Palestine based on borders before Israel seized control of the West Bank in 1967. The foreign ministry said the recognition was in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to President Lula da Silva earlier this year (MercoPress).

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DEFENSE

Israel’s defense industries are anticipating substantial orders from Brazil in the coming years after both countries signed a security cooperation agreement. The state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is expected to sign a first agreement to sell an assortment of its goods to Brazil’s Federal Police, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), an area in which it specializes, radars and sensors, unmanned vehicles, electronic fences, optics and satellite technology (Xinhua).

The United States saw big opportunities in helping Brazil boost its military capabilities as a way of “supporting U.S. interests,” diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks showed. Two documents, sent in January 2009 by then-ambassador Clifford Sobel, predicted that a new Brazilian defense strategy drafted the year before by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government would “lead to Brazil becoming a more effective security partner” (DefenseNews).

Rio do Janeiro media have disclosed that the Brazilian government wants to use unmanned air vehicles, VANT, along the border areas of neighbouring countries, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and Colombia (MercoPress).

Brazil has deployed a 1,500-strong security force to patrol borders with Paraguay and Bolivia to curb the smuggling of weapons and drugs by organized crime, O Estado de S. Paulo reported. More than 80 percent of the arms and drugs smuggled into Brazil enter the country through those borders, the Sao Paulo- based newspaper reported, citing Brazil’s Federal Police (Bloomberg).

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TWITTER & LINKEDIN

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Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

SOCIAL

The Brazilian population reached 190.73 million people in 2010, increasing 12.3 percent in the past decade, according to the country’s latest census released (Xinhua).

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