Geography Archives: Brazil

  • Brazil: The Giant Awoke and . . .

    More and more people pouring into the streets: “Free pass!”; “A R$3.20 fare is a robbery!”; “No to 3.20!”

    But there is a danger. Don’t fall in love with yourselves. This movement is totally beautiful. But what matters is: What will change when everything gets back to normal?

  • Brazil Protests Illustrated

    Brazilian Youth (Carrying Vinegar) Beginning to Rise Up! “Enough!  Brazil Has Awoken!” Viva Brazilian Democracy! Who Made the Protests Violent?  Answer: Protester Against the Fare Hike Holding a Sign Saying “Nonviolence”; Cop Scratching “Non” and Replacing It by “With” — “With Violence” #NaoEPor20Centavos: It’s Not About the 20-Centavo Hike — “Power to the People!” Rio […]

  • Sweetened Realities that Fade Away

    I was surprised today when I listened to the speech delivered by Jose Miguel Insulza in Cartagena. I thought that the person who was speaking on behalf of the OAS would at least claim some respect for the sovereignty of the peoples of this hemisphere which were for years colonized and cruelly exploited by colonial […]

  • Brazil’s Economic Policy: Does Not Compute

    The Brazilian government bets that the domestic market will save the Brazilian economy: that the wage increase above productivity, apart from reducing inequality, will create demand for the Brazilian industry and will offset the overvalued exchange rate.  In other words, the same recipe that produced good results under the Lula administration, it hopes, could be […]

  • Brazil: GDP Growth Slows amid Surging Imports and Flat Manufacturing

    Brazil’s GDP grew at a 2.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, down from 5.4 percent in the first quarter, and somewhat lower than its year-over-year growth of 3.2 percent.  GDP is now 7.8 percent above its pre-recession peak. By Sector Brazil continued its trend toward services and away from industry.  While services contributed […]

  • Brazil’s “Independent” Central Bank: Independent from Whom?

    In recent days the press has reported that President Dilma Rouseff has denied having tried to influence the Brazilian central bank to lower short-term interest rates, as the bank did on August 31 from 12.5 to 12.0 percent.  The fact that she would feel obligated to make such a statement shows that there is a […]

  • Brazil’s “Wall Street” Problem

    Brazil’s economy is slowing, but the government is increasing its primary surplus by cutting spending, which could slow the economy more.  In June, industrial production fell by 1.6 percent, and economic activity fell for the first time since 2008.  Although monthly figures are erratic and don’t necessarily indicate any trend, the overall picture raises questions […]

  • Brazilian Defense Minister Amorim Supports Withdrawal of Troops from Haiti — But When?

    One month ago I argued in this space that Brazil should set a timetable for getting its troops out of Haiti, since there is no war in Haiti and no legitimate reason — nor legal justification — for the UN military force (MINUSTAH) to be there.  Now Brazil’s new Defense Minister, Celso Amorim — who […]

  • Brazil Needs to Quit Haiti

    U.S. diplomatic cables now released from Wikileaks make it clearer than ever before that foreign troops occupying Haiti for more than seven years have no legitimate reason to be there; that this a U.S. occupation, as much as in Iraq or Afghanistan; that it is part of a decades-long U.S. strategy to deny Haitians the […]

  • Electricity Privatization in Brazil

    Privatized electricity distribution companies, strangling working people with high electric bills . . . Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Cf. “On one hand, daily productivity gains made by professionals working in the electricity sector are not reflected in their salaries.  On the other hand, consumers are already paying high costs at the end of […]

  • Brazil: New Forest Code for Transnationals

    Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Cf. “Nota da Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência (SBPC) e da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (ABC) sobre a decisão da Câmara dos Deputados com relação ao Código Florestal” (25 May 2011); Mario Osava, “Brazil: Politicians Out of Sync with Public Sentiment on the Environment” (Inter Press Service, […]

  • Brazil: Key Economic Trends during and since the Recession

    Brazil’s first quarter GDP shows continued expansion, driven by manufacturing and private consumption.  The economy grew at an annualized rate of 5.4 percent in the first quarter, and over the last four quarters it has grown 4.2 percent.  The two sectors that have had the strongest recovery since the recession, minerals extraction and finance, both […]

  • Macroeconomic Policy Changes Have Helped Brazil Increase Growth, But Much More Is Needed

    From 2004 to 2010, Brazil’s economy grew at an average of 4.2 percent annually, or more than twice as fast as it had grown from 1999-2003; or for that matter, more than twice as fast as its annual growth from 1980-2000.  This was despite the impact of the world recession of 2009, which left Brazil […]

  • Macroeconomic Policy, Growth and Income Distribution in the Brazilian Economy in the 2000s

      Executive Summary: The Brazilian economy grew by 4.2 percent annually from 2004-2010, more than double its annual growth from 1999-2003 or indeed its growth rate over the prior quarter century.  This growth was accompanied by a significant reduction in poverty and extreme poverty, especially after 2005, as well as reduced inequality.  This paper looks […]

  • The grave food crisis

    Just 11 days ago, January 19, under the title “The time has come to do something,” I wrote: “The worst is that, to a large degree, their solutions will depend on the richest and most developed countries, which will reach a situation that they really are not in a position to confront, unless the world […]

  • Chile Joins Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia in Recognizing Palestinian State

    Chilean government spokeswoman Ena Von Baer declared on Tuesday that her country “supports the establishment of a Palestinian state.”  With this declaration Chile joins Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia, which in past weeks have recognized Palestine as a free and independent state. Von Baer explained that Chile’s support is offered in the context of the […]

  • Dilma’s Victory in Brazil

    Like the rally led by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central that brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of Washington DC on Saturday, Brazil’s election on Sunday was a contest of “Restore Sanity” versus “Keep Fear Alive.” Dilma Rousseff of the governing Worker’s Party coasted to victory against the opposition […]

  • Brazil: Abortion in Presidential Election

    Pope Benedict XVI backs José Serra, determined to continue to make uteruses church properties in Brazil. Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Cf. Leonardo Boff: “No Brasil a cada dois dias morre uma mulher por abortos mal feitos, como foi publicado recentemente em O Globo na primeira página” (In Brazil a woman dies every other […]

  • Dilma Adventure!

      Only a few days left for the second round of the 2010 elections, our mobilization continues.  To energize the activists for Dilma some more, here is a game made for the presidential election, in which we can get Dilma to the Palácio do Planalto. The idea comes from Professor Alex Leal, in the Digital […]

  • Brazil Should Lead on Access to Essential Medicines

    By the greater use of compulsory licenses, Brazil could lower drug costs not only in Brazil, but in developing countries overall.  At a time when the New York Times is reporting that “the global battle against AIDS is falling apart for lack of money,” it is absolutely essential that the price of lifesaving medicines in […]