Archive for March, 2010

Lula’s Nods to Iran Sow Brazil’s Growing Confusion With Chavez

March 15, 2010

March 15 (Bloomberg) — When Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva defends Iran’s right to a nuclear program and makes plans to visit Tehran in May, he is following the path of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The similarities only go so far.

Chavez, who has visited Iran eight times, is supporting the Islamic Republic and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because he views the Iranian leader as a fellow “gladiator of the anti- imperialist battle” against the U.S.

Lula’s motivation is less ideological than strategic, say analysts in Brazil and the U.S. His policy is aimed at converting Brazil’s economic muscle into global clout by pushing “south-south” trade and political ties with developing countries, they say. Iran’s 74 million consumers make it an attractive market, and Lula’s resistance to Iran sanctions helps safeguard Brazil’s civilian nuclear program from outside interference.

“It’s not about embracing Iran,” said Matias Spektor, a Brazilian foreign policy expert and visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. “Lula believes that international agreements like the nuclear non-proliferation treaty can’t be used selectively by great powers to punish weaker countries.” (more…)


Lula Is ‘Unbeatable’ in Brazil, Not Rousseff, Cardoso Says

March 3, 2010

March 3 (Bloomberg) — Former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who twice defeated President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the 1990s, said that while Lula is “unbeatable” today, his popularity won’t be enough to elect his chosen heir.

Dilma Rousseff, the candidate of Lula’s Workers’ Party, will have to rely on her own performance to beat opposition contender Jose Serra, 67, Cardoso said. In Brazil, voters choose their president on a candidate’s character and personality, not the party or who supports them, Cardoso said.

“If Lula were competing no one would be able to defeat him because he has a very strong link with the population,” Cardoso, who like Serra belongs to the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, said in an interview yesterday in Sao Paulo. “Dilma has no leadership, she has no contact with Congress.” (more…)

Meirelles Says Cost of Brazil Stability Outweighed by Benefits

March 2, 2010

March 2 (Bloomberg) — Brazilian Central Bank President Henrique Meirelles said maintaining economic stability and higher reserve requirements carry costs.

Meirelles, during a speech in Sao Paulo, said the costs related to more prudential economic managemet were offset by greater stability.

“The costs of stability exist, but the benefits for society are greater,” Meirelles. “In economics, there is no free lunch.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Camila Fontana Correa in Sao Paulo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at