Archive for the ‘Brazilian Foreign Policy’ Category

Bill changing rules for land acquisition by foreigners still on hold

December 14, 2015

In the face of growing resistance within the government about the issue, a Congress vote to authorize the purchase of land to companies with majority foreign capital, particularly multinationals, is increasingly distant from an outcome and should happen only next year.

Kátia Abreu

(more…)

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Can Brazil Stop Iran?

April 4, 2012

Joe Mortis

BRAZIL, the saying used to go, is the land of the future — and always will be. But when Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, visits the White House next week, she will come as the leader of a country whose future has arrived.

With huge new offshore oil discoveries and foreign investment flooding in, Brazil’s economy, growing twice as fast as America’s, has surpassed Britain’s to become the world’s seventh largest. As a member of the Group of 20 and host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Brazil is an emerging global leader.

But there is one area where it has an opportunity to lead and has failed to: preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Brazil should take the bold step of voluntarily ending its uranium enrichment program and calling on other nations, including Iran, to follow its example. (more…)

Brazil Moves to Boost Local Goods

August 3, 2011

SÃO PAULO—Brazil’s government, grappling with the effect of a soaring currency on the country’s beleaguered manufacturers, on Tuesday announced temporary tax cuts for select sectors, increased lending for industry and a government purchasing program that will favor Brazilian products over less-expensive imports.

Brazil’s Rousseff: Obama Visit Has Strong Symbolic Value

March 19, 2011

BRASILIA (Dow Jones)–The visit of US President Barack Obama to Brazil carries “enormous symbolic value,” Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said Saturday. (more…)

Brazil official says studying OPEC invitations

February 8, 2011

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil’s energy minister says the government is reviewing an invitation to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Minister Edison Lobao says Brazil has repeatedly been invited to join OPEC. (more…)

Iranian Nuclear Deal Raises Fears in West

May 18, 2010
[irannuke0517] Vahid Salemi/Associated PressFrom left to right, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, joined hands after signing a nuclear fuel swap deal, in Tehran on Monday.

A new Iranian offer to ship out about half of its nuclear fuel—in a surprise deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey—posed a fresh obstacle to U.S.-led efforts to punish Iran for its nuclear program, and underlined U.S. difficulties in affirming its global leadership amid the assertiveness of smaller powers. (more…)

Can Brazil Save the World From War With Iran?

May 3, 2010

Sao Paulo — For the last several decades, fundamental international issues of war and peace have been largely determined by a small group of countries, especially the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the US, Britain, France, Russia and China, with some input from the other so-called G7 industrial democracies: Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council each have a veto over UN Security Council resolutions; they are also the only countries recognized as nuclear-weapon states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

We are now at a new moment in international relations, in which countries outside of the permanent members of the Security Council and their handpicked allies are insisting on having some meaningful input into these issues, and are starting to have some success in pressing their case for inclusion. Brazil has been a leader in these efforts.

The most striking example of this shift is the recent willingness of Brazil and Turkey to challenge the leadership of the United States on the question of responding to Iran’s nuclear program. (more…)

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…)

Brazil Steers an Independent Course – WSJ

January 4, 2010

Washington needs to rethink its assumptions on South America.

Until recently, the Obama administration assumed that Brazil and the United States were natural allies who shared many foreign policy interests, particularly in Latin America. Brazil, after all, is a friendly democracy with a growing market economy and Western cultural values.

It will soon be the fifth largest economy in the world. It recently discovered billions of barrels of petroleum in the deep waters off its coast and is an agricultural powerhouse. It has also made significant progress in eradicating poverty. It therefore seemed only natural to expect that as Brazil became “more like us,” it would seek to play a more active and constructive role in this hemisphere, and that U.S. and Brazilian political and security interests would largely coincide.

This now seems like wishful thinking. On a number of important political and security issues, Washington and Brasilia recently have not seen eye to eye. Nor has Brazil shown much leadership in tackling the important political and security challenges facing the region.

One example is Brazil’s role in UNASUR (Union of South American Nations). At a September meeting in Quito focused on regional security issues, topics not discussed included the multibillion-dollar arms race in the region, the granting of sanctuary and other forms of aid by Venezuela to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Colombian narco-guerrilla group, and the growing nuclear cooperation between Iran and Venezuela. Instead, Brazil joined UNASUR in criticizing Colombia for having agreed to allow the U.S. to use seven of its military bases for counterterrorist and counter narcotics activities inside Colombia.

The fact that Colombia has been under attack by an armed guerrilla group supported by some members of the Union was not considered relevant to the organization’s decision to criticize Colombia for seeking help from Washington. Furthermore, none of the democratic countries in South America, including Brazil, has offered military or even rhetorical support to besieged Colombia.

Another example is Brazil’s changing position concerning the importance of democratic governance. Both Brazil and the U.S. initially opposed the Honduran military’s removal from office of the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, despite the fact that Mr. Zelaya had violated Honduras’s constitution.

Brazil’s interest in democracy in Honduras does not, however, extend to Cuba. Only weeks earlier, Brazil voted in the Organization of American States to lift the membership ban on Cuba—a country that has not held a democratic election in 50 years. This decision contradicted the organization’s democratic charter.

Brazil also has never tried to mobilize support against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s use of democratic institutions to systematically destroy that country’s democracy. On the contrary, Brazil’s President Lula da Silva is supporting Venezuela’s efforts to join Mercosur (a South American customs union), despite rules that limit membership to democratic countries.

amcol0104 Associated Press

Brazilian President Lula da Silva, right, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Finally, there is the issue of Brazil’s apparent lack of concern regarding Iran’s increasing penetration into Latin America through Venezuela. There are now weekly flights between Caracas and Tehran that bring passengers and cargo into Venezuela without any customs or immigration controls. Venezuela has also signed agreements with Iran for transferring nuclear technology, and there is speculation it is giving Iran access to Venezuelan uranium deposits.

Instead of expressing concern over Iran’s activities in Latin America, Brazil is drawing closer to Tehran and hopes to expand its $2 billion bilateral trade to $10 billion in the near future. President Lula recently hosted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Brazil. He reiterated his support for Iran’s right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful uses, while insisting that there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

Several conclusions can be drawn from Brazil’s behavior. First, Brazil wants to prevent the U.S. from expanding its military involvement in South America, which Brazil regards as its sphere of influence. Second, Brazil much prefers working within multilateral institutions, rather than acting unilaterally.

Within these institutions, Brazil seeks to integrate all regional players, achieve consensus and avoid conflict and fragmentation—all worthy goals. But these are procedural, rather than substantive, goals.

Stated differently, Brazil’s multilateral efforts in the region seem to value the appearance of leadership over finding real solutions to the growing political and security threats facing Latin America. These conclusions do not imply that the U.S. and Brazil have no overlapping interests, or that they cannot work together to solve particular regional or even global issues. They do mean Washington may need to rethink its assumptions regarding the extent to which Brazil can be relied on to deal with political and security problems in Latin America in ways that are also compatible with U.S. interests.

OPINION: THE AMERICAS
JANUARY 4, 2010, 10:39 A.M. ET

Ms. Purcell is the director of the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami.