News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on February 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

POLITICS

The Brazilian minister in charge of transport projects has resigned amid allegations of corruption. Minister of Cities Mario Negromonte is the seventh minister in President Dilma Rousseff’s cabinet to step down amid corruption charges. Mr Negromonte has been accused of awarding public work contracts to companies which financed his party, allegations he denies (BBC).

Brazil faces two simultaneous challenges: how to deal with recent illegal immigration, mostly from Haiti, and how to make it easier for highly educated immigrants to get work permits. A number of Brazilian ministries have either proposed or are deliberating policies as the country ushers in a new era of immigration (CNN).

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INTERNATIONAL

President Dilma Rousseff met with Fidel Castro, the revolutionary hero of her youth, and held talks with his younger brother, President Raul Castro (Reuters).

Rousseff is making her first official visit to Cuba with the emphasis on fostering business ties. Communist-run Cuba, under US trade sanctions for 50 years, has seen some economic reforms under Raul Castro (BBC).

Brazil is easing Cuba into the free market economy with a generous package of aid in cash and kind and joint projects that give the Latin American country a pre-eminent position in Havana’s heady mix of communism and experimental capitalism (UPI).

Rousseff said that her country acted properly in granting an entry visa to Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, but that it’s an internal matter for Cuba as to whether Sanchez is allowed to leave the island (Washington Post).

Dilma Rousseff pushed back against criticisms of Cuba’s human rights record that have intruded on her first state visit to the communist island, saying a U.S. detention camp for suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay is also a concern (Miami Herald).

It is a symbol of peace around the world, but the statue of Christ the Redeemer which stands high above Rio de Janeiro is causing an unholy rumpus in one of London’s most fashionable neighbourhoods ahead of this summer’s Olympics (Reuters).

India, South Africa and Brazil have expressed disappointment over the impasse in the WTO Doha talks for a global trade deal and called for the need for resisting protectionism in the current economic situation (Xinhua).

The Brazilian government expressed concerns over the new Argentine trade barriers going in effect and informed that it would “evaluate its impact and legality” before making any decisions, Foreign Trade secretary Tatiana Prazeres announced (MercoPress).

Brazil’s trade with the Arab world soared more than 28% in 2011 to reach 25.13 billion dollars and is expected to grow a further 15%t this year, the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce said (MercoPress).

Brazil reiterated its support for Argentina’s Malvinas Islands sovereignty claim and insisted that solving the controversy with the UK is ‘most important’ for South America’s stability. It also pointed out that it’s not correct to talk about “a blockade” (MercoPress).

Brazil may end a decade-old automotive trade pact with Mexico and start charging tariffs on cars imported from that country as it battles a growing trade deficit in the sector. The 2002 agreement for the import and export of cars and parts with Mexico “is being reviewed,” said trade secretary Tatiana Prazeres (Washington Post).

The accord, implemented in 2002, allows vehicles and car parts manufactured in Brazil and Mexico to enter each country without paying tariffs. But according to Brazil’s Valor Economico newspaper, Brazilian imports of Mexican cars increased 40 per cent last year to US$2bn, leaving the South American country with a trade deficit in that sector of more than US$1.6bn. Hence the decision to review the agreement (FT Beyond Brics).

Brazil is offering 6,000 visas to Haitians over a five-year period as one of several efforts that look to help the troubled Caribbean nation get on its feet, President Dilma Rousseff said (Washington Post).

The upcoming Rio summit on sustainable development must yield a new model to tackle the planet’s economic, environmental and ethical crises, according to Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira.The so-called Rio+20 gathering “is a an exceptional opportunity in a world in which people are searching for new ideas and new processes… to implement a new development paradigm,” she said in an interview with AFP.

DEFENSE & SECURITY

French Defence minister Gerard Longuet said that following on the deal to sell 126 Dassault Rafale fighter jets to India, Paris is hopeful it can seal a similar contract with Brazil (MercoPress).

Embraer Defense and Security signed last January 27 an agreement to acquire 30% of the shares representing the capital of AIRHOLDING, SGPS, S.A., from the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). The AIRHOLDING, SGPS, S.A. is a consortium formed in 2005 by Embraer and EADS, incorporated in Portugal with the specific purpose of holding a 65% stake in OGMA. With this new agreement, Embraer takes full control over AIRHOLDING stake, while the Portuguese government holds the remaining 35% share through EMPORDEF – Portuguese Defense Company (Embraer).

The Brazilian Navy’s Tupi-class (Type 209/1400) submarine, Tapajo (S 33), is nearing completion of a BRL72.3 million (USD40 million) modernisation programme that included an overhaul of all its main systems. A Brazilian Navy spokesman told Jane’s that the submarine was relaunched in late January at Arsenal de Marina do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ) and that the upgrade would be completed in May (Jane’s).

Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim, arrives next Saturday (04/02) in New Delhi, the capital of India, for a series of meetings with officials and visits to military installations in the Asian country. The trip aims to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation between the two countries (Defpro).

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SOCIAL

Churrascarias, rodizios, and kilos are only three of the more common popular dining experiences a person can enjoy in Brazil. As with all dining in the country, visits to these establishments are both a lesson in culture as well as geography (The Rio Times).

Brazil has leapfrogged Japan to become the second most-represented country on Twitter, according to a study from social media research company Semiocast. The U.S. is still the top country on Twitter in terms of number of users with 107.7 million accounts. But Brazil now comes in at number two with 33.3 million, followed by Japan with 29.9 million (PC).

Tall and tan and young and … chunky? The Girl From Ipanema has put on a few pounds, and for many sunbathers on Brazil’s beaches the country’s iconic itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikini just doesn’t suffice anymore. A growing number of bikini manufacturers have woken up to Brazil’s thickening waistline and are reaching out to the ever-expanding ranks of heavy women with new plus-size lines (Huffington Post).

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