March 6, 2014
Paul Guzzo – The Tampa Tribune, 3/4/2014
From Tampa to the Senate floor in Washington, and throughout the United States, Cuban Americans who defend continued isolation of the Communist island nation are throwing their support behind Venezuelan Americans in their efforts to bring order to the South American country.
With 55 years of experience battling a socialist government, these Cuban Americans believe they have the knowhow Venezuelan Americans need to back an opposition party that has made waves in Venezuela since the launch of student protests blaming the government for poverty and corruption.
Foreign policy analysts, on the other hand, question whether any moves from U.S. soil can help. Instead, these voices say, the U.S. should step aside and urge mediation by an interested party closer to the turmoil — Brazil.
September 30, 2013
Carlos Alberto Montaner -The Miami Herald
President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil canceled her visit to President Obama. She was offended because the United States was peeking into her electronic mail. You don’t do that to a friendly country. The information, probably reliable, was provided by Edward Snowden from his refuge in Moscow.
Intrigued, I asked a former U.S. ambassador, “Why did they do it?” His explanation was starkly frank:
“From Washington’s perspective, the Brazilian government is not exactly friendly. By definition and history, Brazil is a friendly country that sided with us during World War II and Korea, but its present government is not.”
April 16, 2013
Global Post/Agence France-Presse, 04/15/2013
Brazil on Monday congratulated Venezuela’s acting leader Nicolas Maduro on his narrow win in weekend presidential elections to elect a successor to Hugo Chavez.
“I congratulate President Maduro on his victory and we reaffirm our willingness to continue working very closely with the Venezuelan government,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota told reporters.
Maduro, Chavez’s handpicked political heir, on Sunday won 50.7 percent of the vote, to 49.1 percent for opposition leader Henrique Capriles, according to Venezuelan electoral authorities.
April 16, 2013
Brazil’s Foreign minister Antonio Patriota congratulated Nicolas Maduro for his election as president of Venezuela and reaffirmed Brazil’s decision to continue working closely with Caracas.
Patriota also gave full support to the statements from the Unasur follow-up mission which was present at the election and insisted that the results given by Venezuela’s electoral authorities ‘must be respected’.
“Sunday’s election was a victory for democracy. In our region we consider the full exercise of democracy as an essential ingredient of regional integration and for closer and deeper relations at all levels between Brail and Venezuela”, said Patriota.
March 21, 2013
Esteban Israel – Chicago Tribune/Reuters, 03/21/2013
If Brazil’s business leaders could vote in Venezuela’s election next month, they would cast their ballots for Hugo Chavez’s political heir, acting president Nicolas Maduro.
They never supported the anti-capitalist bluster of Chavez, who died of cancer last month, but they hope to hold on to lucrative contracts for food exports and construction projects that he signed with Brazil’s former leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his successor, Dilma Rousseff.
“In the near term, a Maduro win would be best,” said Jose Augusto de Castro, head of Brazil’s Foreign Trade Association.
March 11, 2013
Paulo Sotero – Financial Times, 03/11/2013
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff declared three days of official mourning in honour of her late Venezuelan colleague Hugo Chávez Frias, who died on Tuesday in Caracas after a two-year public battle with cancer. “We recognize a great leader, an irreparable loss and above all a friend of Brazil, a friend of the Brazilian people,” she said before leading a minute of silence at a meeting with rural leaders in Brasília carried live on national television.
There was, however, an uncharacteristic twist in Rousseff’s expression of condolences. “On many occasions,” she noted, “the Brazilian government did not agree” with the policies of the Bolivarian leader. Insiders say this was not an extemporaneous remark, but a pre-planned statement calibrated for domestic and international consumption.
Rousseff also put some distance between her government and Venezuelan Bolivarians and their allies by returning to Brasília before the official funeral ceremony on Friday, attended by three dozen leaders, including Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Cuba’s Raul Castro.
March 7, 2013
The New York Times – Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 03/06/2013
HISTORY will affirm, justifiably, the role Hugo Chávez played in the integration of Latin America, and the significance of his 14-year presidency to the poor people of Venezuela, where he died on Tuesday after a long struggle with cancer.
However, before history is allowed to dictate our interpretation of the past, we must first have a clear understanding of Mr. Chávez’s significance, in both the domestic and international political contexts. Only then can the leaders and peoples of South America, arguably the world’s most dynamic continent today, clearly define the tasks ahead of us so that we might consolidate the advances toward international unity achieved in the past decade. Those tasks have gained new importance now that we are without the help of Mr. Chávez’s boundless energy; his deep belief in the potential for the integration of the nations of Latin America; and his commitment to the social transformations needed to ameliorate the misery of his people.
Mr. Chávez’s social campaigns, especially in the areas of public health, housing and education, succeeded in improving the standard of living of tens of millions of Venezuelans.
January 15, 2013
Brian Winter, Ana Flor – Reuters, 01/14/2013
Brazil is urging Venezuela’s government to hold elections as quickly as possible if President Hugo Chavez dies, senior officials told Reuters on Monday, a major intervention by Latin America’s regional powerhouse that could help ensure a smoother leadership transition in Caracas.
Brazilian officials have expressed their wishes directly to Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Chavez has designated Maduro as his preferred successor if he loses his battle with cancer.
“We are explicitly saying that if Chavez dies, we would like to see elections as soon as possible,” one official said. “We think that’s the best way to ensure a peaceful democratic transition, which is Brazil’s main desire.”
October 3, 2012
Raul Zibechi – The Guardian, 10/02/2012
Far from being incompatible opposites, Venezuela and Brazil have established the most solid strategic alliance in the region.
For most analysts, the political regimes of Venezuela and Brazil are very different. Some governments, such as Barack Obama’s, suggest the two regimes are opposites, even conflicting. But the solid alliance between the two countries, overlooked by the media, does not mesh with these simplistic analyses.
The Venezulean government of Hugo Chávez is accused of being populist and authoritarian, because the state plays a central role in the economy and society, and the regime of showing a dangerous tendency towards single-party politics that makes it very similar to that of Cuba.
September 13, 2012
Fox News Latino, 9/12/2012
Brazil may extend the deadline for Venezuelan state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. to provide loan guarantees and secure its participation in the bi-national Abreu e Lima heavy-oil refinery, the CEO of Brazilian state-controlled energy company Petrobras said.
Maria das Gracas Foster said PDVSA is in the “final” phase of securing a loan needed to pay for its 40 percent stake in the refinery, although the November deadline is approaching.
“If they don’t present the guarantees in November, I’m going to discuss a new deadline because I want them (PDVSA) to be a part of this project,” Foster said in a Senate hearing.