June 13, 2012
Luciana Otoni and Krista Hughes – Reuters, 06/13/2012
(Reuters) – Brazil raised the stakes ahead of next week’s Group of 20 summit on Tuesday by saying it may cap its contribution to a planned funding increase for the International Monetary Fund unless there are firm promises to give emerging markets more say at the international table.
While summit-host Mexico urged Europe to quickly finalize details of aid for Spain’s banks, Brazil said it might contribute less than it had planned to the extra $430 billion promised to the IMF by member states in April to help fund heavily indebted euro zone countries.
The euro zone sovereign debt crisis is set to dominate the June 18-19 G20 leaders’ meeting in Los Cabos as it did the last summit in Cannes, France, six months ago. The meeting starts a day after Greek elections which could decide whether the country stays in the euro zone.
November 3, 2010
Jeffrey W. Rubin – The Huffington Post, 11/02/2010
Sunday’s strong Presidential victory for Dilma Rousseff confirms Brazil’s unique trajectory from military dictatorship in the 1970s to thriving democracy today. With booming exports, competitive and transparent elections, and diminishing poverty rates, Brazil appears well on the path to world power status. That Brazil’s new president is a woman, ex-guerrilla, and leader of the leftist Worker’s Party makes Brazil’s success story of development in the age of globalization rich in political inspiration and compelling historical lessons.
A hemisphere with more countries like Brazil would change the geopolitical map of the world. If Latin America were to demonstrate that democracy and deepening respect for human rights produced growing economies that included poor people and minorities, then the project of development, in its more secular and non-violent form, would gain renewed traction globally.
November 3, 2010
Marco Vicenzino – Financial Times, 11/01/2010
Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s next president, inherits the diplomatic challenges of her predecessor but not his charisma. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva charmed the world in recent years. He has raised his country’s standing and will be a tough act to follow. But a sustainable foreign policy cannot be based on the strength of a single personality.
For Brazil remains a diplomatic enigma. Keeping others guessing may have short-term benefits, but it also risks a long-term trust deficit. Policymakers around the world struggle to understand Brazil’s foreign policy and the dynamics behind it.
Greater clarity is needed on what Brazil represents. One prominent example causing dismay was Brazil’s co-operation with Turkey in defying the permanent five members of the UN Security Council on Iran sanctions. This incident underscored the need for Brazil to present a coherent international agenda and, above all, to communicate it effectively. The country’s traditionally gifted diplomats will be crucial in this task.
September 28, 2010
Luisita Lopez Torregrosa – New York Times, 09/28/2010
Latin America is no stranger to female leaders, but not many can match the radical political trajectory of Dilma Rousseff, the 62-year-old onetime Marxist guerrilla leader who stands to become Brazil’s first female president.
For Ms. Rousseff, a twice-divorced economist, to become Brazil’s president — either by winning outright in elections on Sunday, or in a later runoff — would be historic enough. What’s more, she would rule a country with the eighth-largest economy in the world, the wealthiest in Latin America.
Brazil has always been an exotic playground whose politics regularly feature corruption, violence and upheaval. But it is now a player in the world arena. It is a global power.
September 27, 2010
Fareed Zakaria – Washington Post, 09/27/2010
You can count on a few things during the annual U.N. General Assembly: New York traffic will be bad, the speeches will be worthy (if a bit dull) — and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will say something absurd. This year the Iranian leader suggested that U.S. officials orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to save Israel and “reverse the declining American economy.” (Has he noticed the actual effect the war against terrorism has had on America’s fiscal state?) It continues to be a pity that a great civilization such as Iran is represented by such a character.
In other ways, however, the atmosphere this year was muted. I asked Israeli President Shimon Peres, who has been going to such gatherings for decades, for his read of the mood. “There is more worry than there used to be,” Peres said. He described a general atmosphere of unease and uncertainty amid which emerging nations were jostling for influence. “I don’t think it’s that America is going down, but the world is becoming larger and more complicated.”
There has been much worry about the activities of countries such as Brazil and Turkey, with many Americans arguing that the two countries have become troublemakers, cutting deals with Ahmadinejad and turning away from America. But we have to understand the dynamic that is altering the power status of these countries. Twenty years ago Brazil was struggling to cast off a long legacy of dictatorship, hyperinflation and debt. Today it is a stable democracy with impressive fiscal management, a roaring economy and a wildly popular president. Its foreign policy reflects this confidence and a desire to break free of its older constraints.
April 16, 2010
Brazil, Russia, India and China matter individually. But does it make sense to treat the BRICs—or any other combination of emerging powers—as a block?
The Economist, 04/15/10
IN ANY global gathering, the American president is usually seen, at a minimum, as primus inter pares: the one who can make or break the final bargain and select his favoured interlocutors. So in Copenhagen last December, as negotiations for a new climate-change treaty were entering their final hours, a hastily convened meeting between Barack Obama and China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, looked as if it would be the critical moment when a deal might be struck. But when the president turned up, he found not only Mr Wen but the heads of government of Brazil, South Africa and India. This was unexpected. The Americans even thought the Indians had already left the summit. What was conceived as a bilateral talk turned instead into a negotiation with an emerging-market block. As an additional sign that things were changing in the world, the president got a finger-wagging from one of Mr Wen’s hangers-on. But at least Mr Obama was in the room; Europeans were shut out while the emerging powers and America put the final touches to their deal.
This week the same developing countries are meeting again, in Brasília. On April 15th Brazil, India and South Africa—rising powers that are also democracies—put their heads together. The next day South Africa will drop out and Russia and China will join the party, to create a meeting of the so-called BRICs.