News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on September 9, 2011 at 10:35 am

POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff is starting to gain support for a war on corruption that she is quietly waging. This month 22 senators formed the Inter-Party Front for Combating Corruption and Impunity precisely with the goal of ensuring parliamentary support for Rousseff, as a way of countering possible defections. The government is being “blackmailed,” said Senator Pedro Simón, a PMDB politician who acts independently and is one of the founders of the Front, which has already begun coordinating strategies with organisations such as the Brazilian bar association and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (IPS News).

Thousands of people have joined anti-corruption demonstrations in Brazil, as the country marks its Independence Day. Wearing face paint and clown noses, protesters joined crowds watching the traditional military parade in the capital, Brasilia (BBC).

While India’s newly formed middle class seems willing to vent its frustration in the streets (as Gandhi once did), turnout for anti-corruption marches during yesterday’s Independence Day in Brazil was low and outrage is usually limited to the dinner table conversation. When asked what the country’s most urgent problems are, Brazilians rarely mention corruption (Post Western World).

Governors and senators are close to an understanding on oil royalties sharing between producing and non-producing states. They agree on three points: producing states cannot lose the already obtained revenue from oil exploration in their respective territories; non producing states must take part in the financial results of this exploration; and the Union should give up on a part of its own royalties on behalf of such understanding (Federal Senate).

Plano Brasil Maior is the strategy president Dilma Roussef has found to keep the country’s growth and to consolidate the national industry, decreasing the need for imports of both goods and workforce. Read about Brazil’s protectionis at the Brazil Business.

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INTERNATIONAL

Which countries match the GDP and population of Brazil’s states? Check out the map at The Economist.

Few analyze the effects the terrorist attacks and their aftermath have had on Brazil, and how Brazil has dealt with the international environment after 9-11.
While Brazil had never been a priority of US foreign policy, this tendency was reinforced after September 11 and the US-led invasion in Afghanistan (Post Western World).

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has urged companies in his country to consider business opportunities in Portugal. Silva said that flag carrier TAP Air Portugal and a naval shipyard in northern Portugal could be of interest to Brazilian companies (Washington Post).

Last week, Brazilian television featured a local – if bizarre – angle on the Libya story. The ousted Libyan dictator, Colonel Muammer Gaddafi, it seems is one of the more notorious past foreign customers of an industry Brazil is famous for – plastic surgery (FT).

After a decade of record Brazil exports to China, which helped the region grow significantly despite the recent global recession, there are signs that the honeymoon may be coming to an end. Growing numbers of Brazilian and Latin American business leaders and trade experts are complaining that China is buying almost exclusively raw materials from the region, while refusing to purchase more sophisticated — and expensive — Latin American goods, thus preventing the region from having more diversified economies (Miami Herald).

The prevailing image of China has been that of an unquenchable consumer and the manufacturer of all things cheap. But the opening of 55 glitzy JAC Motors dealerships in Brazil, all selling sleekly designed cars built in China, has helped Chinese officials and businessmen present a different image of their country, as modern and dynamic (Washington Post).

Iran has eclipsed Russia to become the biggest buyer of beef from Brazil, the world’s top exporter of the meat, strengthening the countries’ controversial ties and deepening Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s foreign policy dilemma (FT).

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DEFENSE & SECURITY

The Rafale fighter stands out for having been conceived as omnirole, that is, they are capable to perform all tasks of a fight aircraft. This is the main advantage of the French aircraft in relation to other competitors in the dispute for the contract to modernize the Brazilian Air Force, as Jean-Marc Merialdo,  director of Dassault International of Brazil, said during the last of the three public hearings promoted on the theme by the Committee on External Relations and National Defense (Federal Senate).

Brazil plans to start withdrawing troops from the UN peacekeeping mission it leads in Haiti, Defence Minister Celso Amorim has said (BBC).

Embraer Defense and Security and AEL Sistemas, a subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd., formalized a partnership to create a new company, Harpia Sistemas S.A., to focus on the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) market. Embraer Defense and Security holds 51% of Harpia’s capital, and AEL the remaining 49% (Embraer).

Embraer Defense and Security has selected AEL Sistemas S.A., of Porto Alegre, in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to supply the mission computer,  Cobham, with headquarters in Dorset, England, to supply the wing-mounted aerial refueling pods and SELEX Galileo, from Italy to supply the mission radar system for the military airlifter and tanker jet KC-390, which  is advancing well.

Two of Latin America’s leading emergent nuclear powers, Argentina and Brazil, said they would campaign to keep the South Atlantic region free of nuclear weapons even as they push multibillion-dollar nuclear power development programs (UPI).

Brazil’s Minister of Defence Celso Amorim is in Buenos Aires for several scheduled meetings this week with his Argentine counterpart Arturo Puricelli and to establish closer ties in defence issues in the framework of Unasur (Union of South American nations). Tthey will be discussing Argentina’s intention of “reconditioning Argentine missiles in Brazil” with Brazilian technology (Mercopress).

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