News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on April 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

POLITICS

In perhaps the most significant step since she took office on January 1st, President Dilma Rousseff has differentiated herself from former leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva by supporting the UN vote to monitor human rights in Iran. It marks Brazil’s first change in foreign policy under the new administration and demonstrates Brazil’s desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council (The Rio Times).

Brazil’s former Vice-President, Jose Alencar, has died at the age of 79 after a long battle with cancer. Mr Alencar served eight years as deputy to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who left office at the end of last year (BBC).

Contrary to the rest of Latin American countries, Brazil is the only where an amnesty law sanctioned by the military dictatorship in 1979 remains effective, ignoring a ruling from the Inter American Court of Human Rights, according to jurist Helio Bicudo (MercoPress).

President Dilma Rousseff launched an intensive care program for pregnant women. The Stork Network program will be part of the public healthcare system, and will receive an investment of 9 billion reais (5.42 billion U.S. dollars) in the next four years (Xinhua).

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INTERNATIONAL

Brazil has signed an agreement with Bolivia to tackle cocaine production and trafficking in the country. The deal aims to replace the void when Bolivia expelled the US Drug Enforcement Administration in 2008 for alleged political interference (BBC).

The World Trade Organization ruled that the United States is illegally taxing about 2 billion US dollars a year of imported Brazilian frozen orange juice (MercoPress).

Brazil is considering offering financial support to Portugal to help its former colonial power avoid being sucked even deeper into its debt crisis. President Dilma Rousseff said that her government was studying ways in which it could buy Portuguese government debt. Another option would be to give Portugal a cash injection by buying back some of the Brazilian government debt it currently owns (The Guardian).

President Dilma Rousseff’s upcoming visit to China will mark a new phase in relations between the two countries, a Brazilian official said. In the face of the changing economic global order after the financial crisis, relations between the two countries have been marked by “cooperation and competition,” said Maria Edileuza Fontenele Reis, ambassador and deputy permanent secretary for Asia at the Foreign Ministry (Xinhua).

DEFENSE

The agreement on the production of submarines signed by the governments of Brazil and France in December 2008 was favorably reported out on the Senate Committee on External Relations and National Defense. The legislative decree bill (PDS 79\11) will be now analyzed by the Plenary (Senado Federal).

Embraer, the world’s biggest regional aircraft maker, is negotiating the purchase of a company in the defense and security segment and could announce the deal in coming weeks, Chief Executive Frederico Curado said (Reuters).

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