September 22, 2014
Adriana Gómez Licón – Buenos Aires Herald, 9/21/2014
More than a decade of Workers Party rule has seen Brazil prioritize ties with its leftist regional neighbours, from helping muscle socialist Venezuela into the Mercosur trade bloc to financing a billion-dollar transformation of an industrial port in Cuba. But if President Dilma Rousseff fails to fight off the surging candidacy of reform-minded Marina Silva before presidential voting in October, South America’s largest economy could reset its focus.
Silva was thrust into the Socialist Party’s presidential nomination when its candidate of choice, Eduardo Campos, died in a plane crash last month. Since then, her anti-establishment profile has propelled her to a neck-and-neck race with Rousseff.
Silva says she would re-emphasize ties to the United States and Europe, mostly by working to land trade deals with each. Such moves could cause tension with Mercosur, which prohibits members from making bilateral deals without the group’s approval.
September 22, 2014
Jessica Brice, Ney Hayashi and David Biller – Bloomberg, 9/21/2014
In 2004, Brazil’s then-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and 400 executives went on a six-day trip to China. The mission was simple: Encourage companies to strengthen ties with the Asian nation to bolster growth at home.
A decade later, ties between Brazil and China have never been stronger. Growth at home is stagnant.
Lula’s decision to court China and at the same time spurn some U.S. efforts to bolster trade has led to a dependence on the commodity-hungry nation and deepened a drop in manufacturing. In May 2004, the month Lula visited China in what he called his government’s “greatest trip,” manufactured goods made up more than half Brazil’s exports and commodities less than a third. Last month, industrialized goods had plunged to 37 percent and raw materials made up almost half.
September 19, 2014
Andres Oppenheimer – Miami Herald, 9/17/2014
Former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso confirmed this week something that many of us have suspected: If the opposition wins the Oct. 5 presidential election, there will be changes in Brazilian foreign policy that might affect all of Latin America.
Cardoso, who modernized Latin America’s biggest economy during his two terms from 1995 to 2003 and remains one of Brazil’s most respected politicians, told me in an interview that if opposition candidate Marina Silva wins, she would not give her unconditional support to Venezuela, Argentina and other leftist populist governments, as current President Dilma Rousseff has done.
According to the latest polls, no candidate is likely to win in the first round of voting. In a second round, scheduled for Oct. 26, Socialist Party candidate Silva would have 47 percent of the vote, while Rousseff, of the ruling Workers’ Party, would get 43 percent, according to an Ibope poll released Wednesday.
September 18, 2014
Associated Press – The Independent, 09/17/2014
Marina Silva, a front-running presidential candidate who grew up in the Amazon jungle and could become the first black to lead Brazil’s government, said Wednesday that if elected she’ll improve ties with the U.S. and strongly push for human rights in nations like Cuba.
She spoke exclusively to The Associated Press in her first interview with a foreign media outlet since being thrust into Brazil’s presidential campaign after her Socialist Party’s original candidate died in an Aug. 13 plane crash.
Silva, a former Amazon activist, senator and environment minister who pushed policies that helped Brazil slash the rate at which it was destroying the jungle, has found herself at the center of a suddenly hot presidential race pitting her against President Dilma Rousseff, with whom she’s running in a dead heat in the latest polls. The incumbent represents the Workers Party, which Silva helped found three decades ago.
September 18, 2014
Associated Press – ABC News, 09/18/2014
Front-running presidential candidate Marina Silva says the key to her support among millions of Brazilians who joined in anti-government protests last year is her understanding that reforming a broken political system will come from the ground up.
Silva spoke exclusively with The Associated Press on Wednesday in her first interview with a foreign media outlet since being thrust into a hotly contested campaign just a month ago, after her Socialist Party’s first candidate died in a plane crash Aug. 13.
In a wide-ranging, hour-long interview, Silva said that as president she would seek bilateral trade deals and better relations with the U.S. and Europe, and would push for improved human rights in allies such as Cuba.
September 11, 2014
EFE – Fox News Latino, 09/10/2014
Brazilian immigration authorities denied Wednesday that they are blocking the entry of African immigrants due to fears that they might be carrying the Ebola virus, which has killed nearly 2,300 people in West Africa since March.
The Federal Police, who are responsible for border control, responded to press accounts that their agents are blocking the entry of immigrants from Africa in the Amazonian state of Acre, on the border with Peru and Bolivia.
“Immigration control in the state of Acre is functioning normally and there is no order to restrict the access of Africans to the national territory,” the Federal Police said in a statement. The force said that it will adopt the necessary disciplinary measures if it is verified that any of its agents have engaged in “irregularities” while handling African immigrants.
September 10, 2014
Matt Day – The Wall Street Journal, 09/09/2014
Investors are piling into Brazilian stocks, adhering to one simple rule: The lower President Dilma Rousseff falls in the polls, the higher share prices go.
Ms. Rousseff has few fans in the investment world, where she is blamed for not doing enough to reverse a prolonged economic slump. Until recently, she looked like a sure bet to win a second term in October elections, but her numbers have slipped against Socialist Party candidate Marina Silva.
That has caught the attention of some investors who had previously steered clear of South America’s biggest economy. “We’ve added to positions in companies that we don’t particularly like because they’re cheap and poorly managed,” said Michael Reynal, a portfolio manager with RS Investments, which oversees about $25 billion. “If there’s any change in government, that would change.”