News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on July 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

POLITICS

The Economist has long argued that chavismo is an atavistic blind alley for Latin America. By contrast, Brazil has sought to develop a modern Latin American social democracy that marries a globalised capitalist economy with vigorous government efforts to attack deep-rooted inequalities. But there are limits to this approach too (The Economist).

Former Brazilian leader Lula da Silva said President Dilma Rousseff managed the latest political crisis in the cabinet ‘correctly’ and is proving she has the capacity to lead “in this and in all situations” (MercoPress).

The federal Brazilian government’s social spending has grown steadily in recent years and in 2009 reached almost 16% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This means the equivalent of R$ 541.3 billion has been spent on healthcare, education, social security and welfare, among other areas. In 1995 R$ 219 billion was invested, just over 11% of that year’s GDP (Portal Brasil).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

The construction of four diesel powered Scorpene-class attack submarines for the Brazilian Navy was launched at a plant near Rio de Janeiro (MercoPress).

The Brazilian government has started work on a submarine programme which will include the construction of South America’s first nuclear subs. The move will boost Brazil’s claim to be the strongest force in the region, and strengthen the country’s military assertiveness. This new-found power may harm Britain in the event of another flare-up over the Falklands, according to U.S. news agency Global Post, as Brazil thinks the islands should belong to Argentina (Daily Mail).

Building of submarines in Brazil is a strategic issue and a guarantee of sovereignty, said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. “Brazil is becoming part of a small group of countries which have the knowledge and technology to build submarines. The capacity to produce submarines is a strategy for both defense and economic growth,” said the president. She noted that each submarine consists of more than 36,000 components which will be produced by 30 Brazilian companies. Building the four submarines will help create, both directly and indirectly, some 46,000 jobs (Xinhua).

Brazil’s Federal Police say that arms traffickers are using new routes to get weapons into the country. Entry via sea port is now just as important as entry over land. Police identified Santos, in Sao Paulo, and Paranagua, in Parana – the country’s two biggest ports – as major points of entry for arms. They attributed this in part to the fact that there is so little oversight of imports in these ports, due to the large quantity of cargo passing through them (Christian Science Monitor).

The Boeing Co. cast its net wider in the campaign to secure Brazil’s multibillion-dollar order for up to 100 jet fighters, pledging generous technology transfers and training for Brazilians as part of the deal. Boeing is in competition with French Dassault Aviation’s Rafale fighter jet and Swedish company Saab’s Gripen NG rival (UPI).

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TWITTER & LINKEDIN

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SOCIAL

In booming Brazil, crack strikes late but hard. Authorities have far fewer resources than the U.S. to deal with the cheap drug (Associated Press).

Six senior officials at Brazil’s transport ministry were sacked for a simmering corruption scandal that already forced the former transport minister to step down. The officials were fired due to suspected involvements in overbilling several state infrastructure projects, a scandal which was first unveiled by the local weekly news magazine Veja (Xinhua).

Brazil’s major cities, once a dreamland for many domestic migrants, are losing their allurement, according to an official study. New trends of migration have emerged in Brazil, said the study issued by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) (Xinhua).

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