Rousseff Appeals to Senators Before Brazil Impeachment Trial

Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg, 08/16/2016

Dilma Rousseff appealed to Brazilian voters and legislators less than 10 days before her impeachment trial starts in the Senate, pledging to hold a plebiscite on new elections if she survives in office.

Rousseff presented her case in a four-page letter to the Brazilian people and Senate on Tuesday, reading the text to reporters in Brasilia without taking any questions. She was flanked by some of her former ministers.

 “The solution to the political and economic crisis we face is through the popular vote,” she said. “Democracy is the only way to build a partnership for national unity.”

Brazil’s Senate Votes to Move Ahead with Dilma Rousseff’s Trial

Vinod Sreeharsha – The New York Times, 08/10/2016

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Senate voted in the early hours of Wednesday to push forward with the impeachment trial of Dilma Rousseff, the president who was suspended in May, an important step that could result in her final removal from office.

The trial in the Senate, which will be overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, is expected to take place this month. After hours of debate in the capital, Brasília, senators voted 59 to 21 to indict her on charges of budgetary manipulation, formally making her a defendant.

 Although only a simple majority was needed in Wednesday’s vote, the number of senators that went against Ms. Rousseff exceeded the two-thirds that would be needed to oust her permanently when a final vote is held after the trial ends.

Brazil deploying troops, barricades before impeachment votes

Raymond Colitt and Arnaldo Galvao – The Chicago Tribune, 04/11/2016

Brazilian security forces are deploying thousands of troops and erecting barricades in the capital city of Brasilia this week to prevent violent clashes as Congress holds key votes on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

The city’s rare state of alert reflects concern that the country’s polarized political climate will reach a fever pitch in coming days. Authorities on Sunday enlisted the help of inmates from a nearby prison to set up metal barriers that will separate the hundreds of thousands of Brazilians who are expected to demonstrate for and against the president’s ouster.

Protesters already are converging on Brasilia as the nation’s drawn-out political crisis moves into a decisive phase, with a special committee in the lower house scheduled to vote on Monday whether to move forward with the impeachment request against Rousseff. The full house could vote as early as April 17, either squelching impeachment or setting the stage for Rousseff’s ouster in the Senate.

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Israel changes tack over ambassador after standoff with Brazil

Isable Kershner – The New York Times, 03/28/2016

JERUSALEM — Israel pulled back on Monday after a monthslong diplomatic standoff with Brazil over plans to install a former settler leader as its ambassador there, reassigning him to a post in the United States after the government in Brasília refused to approve his appointment.

The office of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued a brief statement saying that he had decided to appoint the former settler leader, Dani Dayan, as consul general in New York.

“He will replace Foreign Ministry career official Ido Aharoni, who is completing his term,” the statement said. Officials in the prime minister’s office and in the Foreign Ministry declined to make any additional public comments.

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Why Brazil still hasn’t approved Israel’s ambassador pick

Ruth Eglash and Dom Phillips – The Washington Post, 01/09/2016

Israel and Brazil are locked in a rather undiplomatic standoff over the appointment of a new Israeli ambassador to the Latin American country. Tensions began in September when Israel presented credentials for Dani Dayan, selected for the post by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Usually, it takes just weeks for a country to approve a new ambassador, but Israel is still waiting.

The holdup?

Dayan is the former head of the Yesha Council, a representative body of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Most countries, including Brazil, view the settlements as illegal and an impediment to the creation of a future Palestinian state. Israel disputes that. The United States calls the settlements “illegitimate.”

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Brazil’s most costly soccer stadium may not host Olympic games

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 10/27/2015

In the midst of Brazil’s deepening economic crisis, its cash-strapped capital may not have the money to fulfill a promise to host Olympic soccer games next year, leaving unused the most expensive stadium built for the 2014 World Cup.

The Rio 2016 organizing committee has given Brasilia until mid-November to sign a contract or be stripped of the seven games set to be held there next year, a spokesperson said.

Tickets for matches in Brasilia have already been on sale for months and it remains unclear how fans, many of whom may have bought flights and booked hotels, would be reimbursed.

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Brazil truckers strike drags on as gov’t talks stall

Marcelo Teixeira and Reese Ewing – Reuters, 2/25/2015

Truckers who blocked roads in 10 Brazilian states in an eighth day of protests struggled to find a solution in talks with the government on Wednesday to end a strike that has disrupted food and fuel supplies.

Agriculture Minister Katia Abreu said after a meeting with truckers in Brasilia on Wednesday afternoon that she was confident both sides would reach agreement.

“(The protesters) are flexible and want to resolve the problem,” Abreu said, but she added the government would not give in to on the truckers’ main demands: lower diesel prices and fixed freight rates.

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