Brazil President Talks Tough Against The US Led Bombing of Libya

Posted on April 3, 2011

No one pays attention to history anymore – largely because it is not taught or taught well in schools.  Case in point:  The press had the American people convinced that the new President of Brazil (most US students won’t know where it is) would be more of a centrist than her predecessor, Lula, and that US and Brazilian relations would thaw.  Even Obama hoped for this as he headed down there last month.

Here is what has been grossly overlooked:

In 1964, Brazil’s military overthrew the leftist government of Joao Goulart, in office since 1961. It was the fifth political intervention in 20 years by Brazilian military officers, but this time they would stay in power for 21 years. The coup was supported by the U.S. government.

Under the military dictatorship civil rights were suspended and arrests, disappearances and torture became commonplace. Education’s share of the government budget was cut in half.

At high school Rousseff was influenced by the writings of French political theorist Régis Debray and by a teacher and future comrade who taught her Marxism.

The school was a centre of student activism against the dictatorship. In 1967 Rousseff joined a radical faction of the Brazilian Socialist Party. [CBC]

Rousseff was tortured by the dictatorship and imprisoned.  Why would this warm her to US relations when the US supported her torturers?  Like her father a Bulgarian immigrant, she was a Brazilian Marxist.  In short, she is as far left as Lula and any intimation that she was not was election politics.

Lula still is a force to be reckoned with and recently spoke out against UN adoption of NATO plans to intervene in Libya:

“These invasions only happen because the United Nations is weak,” he said. “If we had twenty-first-century representation [in the Security Council], instead of sending a plane to drop bombs, the UN would send its secretary-general to negotiate.”   [al Jazeera]

All of the Obama good will and smiles will not change hardened South American leftists and their agendas.  Most important, Brazil is a partner in an impressive group of rising economic and political powers, Russia, India and China [BRIC]. Brazil now has the economic clout to push back against Chinese trade policies:

In a clear departure from her popular mentor and predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff will also raise concerns about China’s undervalued currency and trade protectionism when she visits the Asian giant in April. [Reuters]

And in addition to facing down the US on its Libyan policy, Rousseff is looking to Obama to lower protective tariffs on Brazilian agricultural imports.  With beef herds twice as large and a long growing season, the US farmer is increasingly under pressure from South American farming – a reason many groups of US farmers are buying farm lands in South America.