Environmentalist Surges Ahead In Brazilian Presidential Polling

August 28, 2014

Nick Cunningham – Oilprice.com, 8/28/2014

Political change could be coming to Brazil. A new Ibope poll in Brazil shows that an unexpected challenger in the 2014 presidential election would defeat incumbent President Dilma Rousseff in a hypothetical run-off.

Rousseff was once thought to be in a strong position for reelection, but Marina Silva, an ardent environmentalist, has vaulted to the front of the pack.

The daughter of a rubber tapper, Silva had humble beginnings. She grew up poor and was illiterate until she was a teenager. But after years of activism in union politics, Silva was eventually elected senator from her home state of Acre.

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Coordinator for Marina Silva Wants Former Presidents Lula da Silva and Fernando Henrique Cardoso as Allies

August 25, 2014

Mariana Carneiro – Folha de S. Paulo, 8/25/2014

On the morning of Friday, Aug. 22, economist Eduardo Giannetti da Fonseca was excited with the result of research done by the PSB and financial market institutions that suggested growth of electoral preferences of the party’s presidential candidate, former senator Marina Silva.

The research indicates that Silva, who Giannetti met on the 2010 campaign trail, has settled into second place in the presidential race this year and has the potential to defeat Dilma Rousseff (PT) in the second round.

The possibility of victory tends to feed speculations of the purpose of Giannetti, who describes himself as a person “without political ambitions,” in any future government. But he says he has no interest in being the next finance minister.

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Former Brazil President Lula Campaigns for Dilma Rouseff’s Re-election

August 20, 2014

Hispanically Speaking News, 8/19/2014

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, one of Brazil’s most popular politicians, came all-out Tuesday in favor of the campaign to reelect his successor, Dilma Rousseff, assuring voters they can support her without qualms.

With the campaigns for the Oct. 5 elections starting Tuesday on television, the ideal medium for getting political messages across in Brazil, Lula burst onto the small screen with a powerful message in favor of a second four-year term for his political protege.

“Everyone knows that my second term was better than the first” and “that’s how it will be with Dilma,” Lula said, appealing to what Brazilians remember about his 2003-2011 tenure.

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Lula urges Brazilians to give Rousseff a second term

August 19, 2014

Fox News Latino, 8/19/2014

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, one of Brazil’s most popular politicians, came all-out Tuesday in favor of the campaign to reelect his successor, Dilma Rousseff, assuring voters they can support her without qualms.

With the campaigns for the Oct. 5 elections starting Tuesday on television, the ideal medium for getting political messages across in Brazil, Lula burst onto the small screen with a powerful message in favor of a second four-year term for his political protege.

“Everyone knows that my second term was better than the first” and “that’s how it will be with Dilma,” Lula said, appealing to what Brazilians remember about his 2003-2011 tenure.

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Tragic August, uncertain October

August 15, 2014

The Economist, 8/16/2014 (print edition)

August is a tragic month in Brazilian politics. Sixty years ago Getúlio Vargas, a populist dictator turned democrat, committed suicide while in office. In 1976 Juscelino Kubitschek, who built Brasília, the country’s Utopian capital, was killed in a car crash. On the morning of August 13th the month claimed its latest victim. Eduardo Campos, leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and one of President Dilma Rousseff’s two main rivals in an election this October, died when his chartered jet crashed in the port city of Santos, 60km south-east of São Paulo.

The aircraft, a Cessna 560XL, was reportedly in good working order when it took off at 9.21am from Rio de Janeiro. Bad weather meant a landing at the Guarujá airstrip in Santos, where Mr Campos was making a campaign stop, had to be aborted. Soon afterwards, witnesses reported hearing an explosion and seeing the Cessna plummet ablaze into an apartment building and gym. The cause of the explosion, which also claimed the lives of two pilots and four other passengers, was not immediately clear.

Ms Rousseff, with whom Mr Campos had served in the government of her predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, declared three days of mourning and suspended her campaign. So did Aécio Neves, the candidate of the centre-right Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), who tweeted of an “irreparable and incomprehensible” loss.

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In defeat, a teaching moment for Brazil

July 15, 2014

Johanna Mendelson Forman – The Hill, 7/15/2014

Two routs of Brazil in one week, first with the German soccer team and then with the Dutch, can only be viewed as a metaphor for the limits of soft power. The final blow this past Saturday was the Netherlands team trouncing Brazil in a poorly defended game, and a palpable sense of retreat as Brazilians watched their home team crash and burn.

Brazil’s culture cherishes its long romance with futbol. And well it should. It is a nation that produced Pele, Ronaldinho and Neymar. Its Labor government bet the ranch on being host to the World Cup, a jewel in the crown of an emerging power. Unfortunately, the fairy-tale ending of living happily ever was overshadowed by large public protests in 2013 in a nation that wanted more for its children than gleaming soccer palaces and airports. Brazil’s desperate need for more schools, better educational opportunities and increased resources for health have become the grievance of a rising middle class that emerged as a result of policies that made poverty alleviation a central tenant of the Labor platform. First, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and then with President Dilma Rousseff, the country moved 33 million citizens out of poverty, and brought 47 million into the middle class with expectations that exceeded the government’s capacity to respond. And that’s where the trouble started.

Projecting power through persuasion with a global brand like soccer is fine and important. But rising to the level of serious leadership will require more than a World Cup victory or playing host to the 2016 Olympics. With this sporting event over, it is time for Brazil to rethink its mission in a complex international system that welcomes nations with peaceful inclinations, but equally values leadership. And this is where the problem lies for Brazil. For example, in 2008 it created a distinct South American forum, UNASUR, the Union of South American States, with the goal of distancing itself from the politics of the Organization of American States (OAS), which has been dominated by the United States. While UNASUR has voiced its intent to become an institution that can provide a genuine multilateral forum to resolve regional problems, to date its record is slim in spite of rhetoric to the contrary.

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Brazil’s leading anti-corruption Justice announces he is stepping down

July 2, 2014

MercoPress, 6/30/2014

“He came to say goodbye, given that he will retire next month,” Renan Calheiros told reporters after a private meeting with the jurist. “It was a surprise and we’re very sorry, since he’s one of the best models the country has,” the senator added.

The chief justice met earlier Thursday with President Dilma Rousseff to inform her of his decision.

Barbosa, 59, was the first black jurist to head Brazil’s Supreme Court, elected by his 10 fellow justices in October 2012.

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