News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on July 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

POLITICS

Itamar Franco, who as president of Brazil in the 1990s helped tame hyperinflation, died here Saturday. He was 81 (The New York Times).

The tension surrounding distribution of an estimated R$7.9 billion in annual oil revenues appears to have abated after a meeting on Thursday, June 30th, between governors from oil producing states of the southeast, and governors from the north and northeast. The non-oil producing states have rescinded many former demands in favor of an agreement that will distribute oil wealth throughout the nation, while reserving a greater percentage for states involved in extraction and refinement (The Rio Times).

Brazil’s transport minister has resigned over a corruption scandal in his ministry. Alfredo Nascimento stepped down after a magazine alleged staff at his ministry were skimming off money from federal infrastructure contracts (BBC).

President Dilma Rousseff may name Senator Blairo Maggi, whose family is the world’s largest soybean grower, as transport minister (Bloomberg).

Brazilian environmentalist and former presidential candidate Marina Silva says she’s leaving the Green Party. Silva won a surprising 20 percent of the vote in the first round of last year’s presidential election in Brazil. Her candidacy rallied interest in the nation’s Green Party (Washington Post).

The key political risks to watch in Brazil according to Reuters can be found here.

Adding to the feeling of drift and dissension in Rousseff’s six-month-old government, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim lamented before a roomful of legislators last week that he has to tolerate an ever-greater number of “idiots” (Reuters).

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INTERNATIONAL

Brazil and the Netherlands can work together to extend scientific cooperation to develop new sugarcane-based bio-products and promote the harmonization of sustainability requirements. The two priorities were set out in a presentation at the 4th Brazilian-Dutch delegations meeting by Géraldine Kutas, Head of International Affairs and Senior Advisor to the President for International Affairs at the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA). The gathering, focused on opportunities for Brazilian-Dutch cooperation in the biofuels industry and bio-based economy, was held in Rotterdam, within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two countries in April of 2008 (Unica).

On the occasion of a string of concerts by the top notch Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam and Port of Rotterdam President Hans Smits visited Rio and Sao Paulo from June 25th-29th. Rotterdam has become over the years Brazil’s gateway to Europe and beyond. Besides the shipping of some 35 million tons of Brazilian cargo (2010), the city & port also host a growing number of the largest Brazilian companies, such as Braskem and Petrobras. Dutch quality newspaper NRC quoted Mayor Aboutaleb’s saying that more Brazilian investment is expected, making use of Rotterdam logistical excellence as well as fiscal advantages. On the other side, the Port of Rotterdam is in the race to manage one or two Brazilian ports (BW).

The Brazilian Foreign Ministry says Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez would be welcome to continue his cancer treatment in Brazil (AP).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Brazil intends to launch a geostationary satellite before 2014, in order to link the defense system over the whole territory. The new satellite, whose launching still depends on a final decision by the Brazilian government, will allow the direct communication between Brasília and border squads and submarines in the Atlantic Ocean, besides sending images from distant areas. Nowadays, as the minister explained, the Brazilian government rents satellite channels from a private Mexican company (Federal Senate).

Four Brazilian unmanned aircraft guided by remote control, Drones, will begin operating in August along the Bolivian border announced Felipe Caceres, Bolivian Social Defence Deputy Minister (MercoPress).

Brazil will start manufacturing unmanned aircrafts with the help from Israel, thus allowing the South American country to control drug trafficking on its border areas. However, the Brazilian authorities may not sell them neither to Bolivia nor to Venezuela, as instructed by the Israeli government (ElUniversal).

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez’ July 1 announcement that he is ill and may not return from Cuba for several months has threatens to send Latin America’s biggest oil producer into a political tailspin, which would seriously affect the strategic dynamics in the region, possibly forcing Brazil, the region’s dominant player, to take a more assertive stance to maintain stability. In a country awash with guns and several radical factions, serious political strife could emerge in urban areas, turning Venezuela into a rudderless ship. In such a case, Brazil would be the only actor potentially able to contain a fallout. Brazil has important economic interests to defend: Bilateral trade between the two in 2010 has been US $ 4.6 billion in 2010, and many large companies such as Odebrecht and Petrobras have made large investments in the country (Post Western World).

Brazil has collected 9,160 weapons and 30,900 units of ammunition during the first two months of a national disarmament campaign, Justice Ministry said (Xinhua).

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