News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on July 15, 2011 at 10:10 am

POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff has named Paulo Sergio Passos as the new transport minister to replace Alfredo Nascimento, who resigned last week under a barrage of criticism about fraud and corruption in the bidding on public works (Latin Amercian Herald Tribune) (Picture source).

President Dilma Rousseff is facing further political unrest in the ruling coalition following the naming of a new Transport Minister, apparently a unilateral decision that was not shared by several allies (MercoPress).

Brazil’s human rights minister says the government will clamp down on child prostitution before hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Maria Nunes says she and other officials are working to end sexual tourism before hundreds of thousands of tourists arrive for the big events (Washington Post).

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INTERNATIONAL

Over the course of a generation, Brazil has emerged as both a driver of growth in South America and as an active force in world politics. A new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)-sponsored Independent Task Force report asserts “that it is in the interest of the United States to understand Brazil as a complex international actor whose influence on the defining global issues of the day is only likely to increase” (Council on Foreign Relations).

The towering statue of Jesus on a cliff overlooking the Pacific looks, at first glance, eerily like Rio de Janeiro’s majestic Christ the Redeemer, a famed icon of Brazil on the Atlantic side of the continent. The resemblance is not accidental. To many Peruvians, the new statue that rises 118 feet (36 meters) has become a potent symbol of Brazil’s growing commercial and political influence in this Andean nation and across South America (The Miami Herald).

Meanwhile the new Pacific-Atlantic route drives up fears of crime and destruction. Although the Carretera Interoceánica boosts links with China for Brazil and Peru, it causes anxiety for environmental groups (The Guardian).

While Brazil’s growth has received cheers all over the world, Brazil’s immediate neighbors are increasingly wary of the emerging giant in their midst, fearing that it could simply replace the United States as the region’s hegemon, exploiting weaker members economically and bullying them politically. Brazil thus faces the very same challenges as India and China: How to increase economic influence in their respective region without being regarded as a predator? Brazil needs to launch a regional charm offensive (Post Western World).

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will come to Brazil for cancer treatment, a source in the Brazilian government told Reuters. Chavez will come to Brazil’s Sirio-Libanes hospital, known for treating cancer, for help in his battle with the illness, according to the source. No timeline has been set for his arrival,

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Senator Antônio Carlos Valadares (PSB-SE) highlighted the importance of the space development policy adopted by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and supported by the current head of State, Dilma Roussef. Along with Ukraine, Brazil founded Alcântara Cyclone Space (ACS) in order to commercialize and operate the launching of satellites. Valadares explained that the bi-national enterprise was the result of an agreement between Brazil and Ukraine so that both nations would have autonomy in a US$ 30 billion a year market (Federal Senate).

Brazil confirms the multibillion fighter jet deal postponed until early 2012. The Brazilian government will not review multibillion-dollar bids for a fighter jet deal until the start of 2012, Defence Minister Nelson Jobim told reporters in France (MercoPress).

RESEARCH & INNOVATION

Brazil’s government says it plans a campaign to attract foreign scientists to work in the laboratories and research centers of Latin America’s biggest country. Science and Technology Minister Aloizio Mercadante says the Science Without Frontiers program will also send 75,000 college students to universities outside Brazil to study for one year (Washington Post).

British Ministers have been accused of seeking to plug a black hole in university fundingby arranging for 10,000 fee-paying Brazilians to study in the UK. David Willetts, the universities minister, flew to South America last month to arrange a deal that he hopes will be highly lucrative at a time of cuts to state funding for higher education. The Brazilian government is planning to provide up to £18,700 a student (The Guardian).

Brazil has risen 13 places in the Global Innovation Index 2011. The ranking is released annually by Insead, one of the leading business schools in Europe, in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency linked to the United Nations (UN). The new indicators were released on June 30, in Paris, and show that Brazil rose from 60th place in 2010 to 47th place this year. With the result, Brazil has overtaken countries such as Russia, India and Argentina (Brasil Portal).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

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