Brazil’s Temer would downsize government if Rousseff ousted

Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg, 04/19/2016

Brazil’s Vice President Michel Temer intends to downsize the government, slash spending and replace most of the cabinet and heads of state companies if President Dilma Rousseff is impeached, according to person with direct knowledge of his plans.

Temer’s first measures would be to reduce ministries by about a third, trim the number of civil servants, and cut current expenditures, according to the person who asked not to be named because the talks are confidential. He will first seek a finance minister and then assemble the rest of the cabinet around that post, including the central bank chief, the person said.

Following a lower house vote on Sunday in favor of Rousseff’s impeachment, Temer has intensified talks at his private home in Sao Paulo this week with economists and political leaders to help shape policy and a cabinet.

Read More…

 

 

Brazilian public favors new presidential election

Reed Johnson and Marla Dickerson – The Wall Street Journal, 04/10/2016

 

SÃO PAULO—With just a week remaining until a key congressional vote that could move Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff closer to impeachment, new polling data show that the public most favors an option that isn’t even on the table: new presidential elections.

Most Brazilians surveyed by the Datafolha polling agency last week said they would like to see the exit of both Ms. Rousseff and her equally unpopular potential successor, Vice President Michel Temer. In the event of their removal, 79% of respondents said they would like to cast ballots in a new presidential election, in hopes of ending the nation’s political crisis.

The new data underscore the Brazilian public’s deep dissatisfaction with Ms. Rousseff and her ruling Workers’ Party as well as with the opposition parties that are looking to assume power. The data also highlight voters’ conflicted feelings about an impeachment process that has become embroiled in partisan mudslinging and accusations of dirty tricks by both pro- and antigovernment forces.

Read More…

 

Brazil’s Exhausting Election

Vanessa Barbara – The New York Times, 10/30/2014

It was a typical election in Brazil. Jesus and Osama bin Laden were running for Congress, as well as Barack Obama, Bob Marley, Santa Claus and Battman (with two Ts). The self-styled “Hamburger Face” unfortunately wasn’t elected, nor was a candidate just called Congresswoman. (When the results were released, it turned out she didn’t get a single vote — not even her own.) But a famous clown named Tiririca won a second term in the House, after starring in a kitschy TV campaign. Next year, 35 percent of our members of Congress will be millionaires.

In São Paulo, which is proving to be more conservative than most of Brazil, the number of legislators in the so-called Bullet Caucus will increase by 30 percent. They are usually former military police officers, with a right-wing posture and a belligerent discourse; they stand for lowering the age at which teenagers can be tried as adults (currently 18); for increasing police repression; and against gun control. Their mottos are: “the only good thief is a dead thief” and “human rights are for right humans.”

The second-most-voted-for congressman in my state was an evangelical Christian ex-cop who recently produced his own comic book. In 32 pages, he describes “two brand-new police cases.” In one, an angel supposedly helped him during a chase so he could catch two fugitives. (In real life, however, three suspects were killed by the police.) After the elections, he urged independence for the wealthiest states from the poorest ones that “preferred charity over work.”

Read more… 

 

U.S. Faces Rising Resistance to Its Latin American Policy

José De Córdoba and David Lunhow-‘The Wall Street Journal, 12/02/09

The U.S., which once considered Latin America its own backyard, is having an increasingly tough time calling the shots in a region where countries like Brazil and China are vying for influence, and where even tiny Honduras stands up to the “Colossus to the North.”

While the U.S. remains the dominant player in Latin America, its clout is curtailed by several factors, including Brazil’s rise as a regional power, the influence of a clique of anti-American nations led by oil-rich Venezuela, and the growing muscle of China, which sees Latin American resources as key to its own economic growth.

The Obama administration, though popular in much of the region, has found itself squabbling over a host of issues, from Cuba to the U.S. military’s use of bases in Colombia to how best to resolve the Honduran crisis.

Honduras stood firm on the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya. The U.S. and other foreign governments pressured the interim government to let Mr. Zelaya serve out his term, which ends in January. But the provisional government hung on long enough to hold Sunday’s presidential election without reinstating Mr. Zelaya.

Read more…