Brazil opposes policy of unilateral sanctions outside UN legal field

Sputnik Brazil, 7/09/2015

Brazil does not recognize the use of unilateral sanctions outside the UN legal field as they hurt the economic situation in the region of application and their legitimacy raises doubts, Brazilian Minister of External Relations Mauro Vieira told Sputnik Brazil.

“Brazil generally does not recognize sanctions applied outside of the UN legal field… We consider unilateral sanctions a tool the legitimacy of which is questionable,” Vieira said, answering a question about Brazil’s position on anti-Russia sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West.

“That’s why we do not recognize or support them,” Vieira said, adding that sanctions do not contribute to the building of a relationship of trust between parties for a peaceful political settlement of existing issues and hamper the resumption of economic growth in the region where they are applied.

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Brazil hails long-awaited EU trade breakthrough

Joe Leahy – The Financial Times, 7/01/2015

Mercosur and the EU appear set to exchange formal offers on tariffs by the end of the year, raising hopes that the South American bloc is close to clinching the biggest trade deal in its 24-year history.

Armando Monteiro, the Brazilian trade and industry minister, told the Financial Times in an interview that the exchange of market access offers would mark an important step towards full implementation of the proposed trade deal as early as next year.

The South American bloc and the EU have been engaged in on-off talks on a deal since 1999.

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Brazil Federal Police arrest another former Petrobras executive

Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 7/02/2015

Brazil’s federal police have arrested another former executive of state-run energy company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, as part of an investigation into a broader corruption scandal that has wounded the country’s largest company.

Police arrested Jorge Zelada, a former top executive of Petrobras, early Thursday at his home in Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Zelada was arrested on suspicion of corruption and money laundering, said a police spokesman. Mr. Zelada’s lawyer couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Mr. Zelada was director of international operations of Petrobras from 2008 to 2012. He replaced Nestor Cerveró, who was convicted in May of money laundering and sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the widening scandal.

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Brazil tries to rebuild relations with U.S. after NSA spying scandal

Jackie Northam – NPR, 6/30/2015

It’s rare that a world leader will cancel a planned state visit to the White House, but that’s what happened two years ago when Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff found out that the U.S. had been spying on her and her top aides.

The Brazilian leader is now trying to let bygones be bygones, and is in Washington, D.C., to visit with President Obama.

Rousseff’s decision to cancel the state visit — with its formal dinners and high-profile meetings — threw a strong and robust bilateral relationship into disarray, says Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society.

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Brazil President’s approval rating hits record low

Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 6/21/2015

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating dropped to a record low, poll results showed Sunday, amid the country’s sluggish economic performance and corruption allegations involving the state-run energy company.

According to a survey by the Datafolha polling institute, 10% of respondents said the Rousseff administration was “excellent or good,” compared with 13% in a poll published in April.

Meanwhile, around 65% of respondents said Ms. Rousseff’s administration was “bad or terrible,” up from 60% in the previous survey. That was the highest level since 1992, when President Fernando Collor de Mello received a 68% rating shortly before he was impeached.

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Venezuela says Brazil senators sought to destabilize the country

Brian Ellsworth – Reuters, 6/20/2015

Venezuela’s foreign ministry has accused a group of Brazilian senators of seeking to destabilize the country during a brief visit on Thursday and denied their safety was under threat.

Brazilian opposition senators said their minibus was stoned and blocked as they attempted to drive from the coastal airport to Caracas and then to visit opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who is being held in a military jail.

“A group of Brazilian senators … arrived in the country with the sole purpose of destabilizing Venezuela’s democracy and generating confusion between brother nations,” the ministry said in a statement late on Friday.

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Brazil World Cup stadiums symbol of tournament’s dubious legacy

Vivek Chaudhary – ESPN FC, 6/20/2015

As Brazil marks one year since hosting the World Cup, it reflects on the tournament’s checkered legacy. More than $3 billion was spent on building five new stadiums and renovating seven existing ones, but many of these so-called white elephants are as likely now to collect dust as they are to generate ticket receipts.

“When I look back on the 2014 World Cup, it is not good,” the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, told ESPN FC. “Brazil was left with some great stadiums, but they were too expensive because of corruption.

“Brazilians have not benefited from the tournament. There has been no legacy for them. The World Cup still makes them angry. There is regret that we even staged it.”

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