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Brazil’s Rousseff frustrates top business leaders but is praised by landless peasants

Monday, May 2nd 2011 - 01:03 UTC
Full article 9 comments
President Dilma Rousseff missed the World Economic Forum President Dilma Rousseff missed the World Economic Forum

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff left top bankers, investors and corporations CEO frustrated following her decision to cancel a speech to the World Economic Forum on Latin America meeting in Rio do Janeiro.

The audience was particularly interested in listening to the Brazilian leader whom some feel she is not entirely enthusiastic about foreign investment, particularly since the recent sacking of the CEO from the country’s largest corporation, mining giant Vale Doce, apparently because he was more inclined to follow world markets that ‘Brazilian interests”.

The president was expected to give the opening speech of the Forum last Thursday before 700 world business and political leaders, including among others Citicorp executive president, Vikram Pandit.

However the presidential office postponed her speech for the following day and at last minute definitively cancelled the appointment. A note sent to the organizers said Ms Rousseff could not participate because of “unexpected difficulties”.

The World Economic Forum was specifically chosen to take place in Brazil to convene investors from US, Europe and China interested in investing in the country ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Considered a pragmatic left wing leader, in her younger days a guerrilla who spent time in jail in the early seventies, Ms Rousseff has looked actively for foreign investment since she took office last January first.

But even if some top world business and political leaders felt irritated about the Brazilian president cancellation, the head of the Landless Peasants and Workers Movement, MST anticipated that the administration of Dilma Rousseff will be more “to the left” than that of her predecessor, Lula da Silva (2003/2010).

“For social organizations during the period of Lula the correlation of forces was far worse. In Lula’s first mandate they almost had him ousted (*). What I’m saying is that the political and social environment is more favourable now to left oriented changes than when Lula da Silva”, said Joao Pedro Stedil, MST leader.

Addressing the Law School at the prestigious University of Sao Paulo, the peasants’ leader said that what was built by Lula da Silva, “has allowed from a start to have strong allies such as the Universal Church, the main evangelist movement in Brazil and Fuerza Sindical, the main unions’ confederation”.

“Many popular forces are now in support of Dilma who has a strong broader social base. Even when it is a government that negotiates, it will be able to give strong backing to the structural changes which need to be done in Brazil, if she wants to honour her promise to overcome poverty”, said Stedile.

(*) In 2005 the so called ‘Mensalao’ scandal almost brought down the Lula da Silva administration. It was revealed many lawmakers received a hefty monthly payment to approve bills since Lula da Silva did not have the necessary majority. The skimming of resources from government plans for the payments forced the resignation of half the cabinet, Lula da Silva’s closest advisors and a purge at the ruling Workers Party.

 

Categories: Economy, Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Forgetit87

    What an incoherent article. What link is there between her cancelled appearance at the WEF and the MST's praise?

    ”(...) and Fuerza Sindical, the main unions’ confederation“

    How funny is that Brazil's ”main union's confederation” has a Spanish name.

    May 02nd, 2011 - 01:54 am 0
  • Fido Dido

    I bet it's typed by a person from a north american nation where Mercopress also has a press office (NYC). They love to spin this kind of news with something else and as usual make a mistake that reveals their true ideology.

    May 02nd, 2011 - 02:21 am 0
  • Think

    Worth reading again:

    “Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff left top bankers, investors and corporations CEO frustrated following her decision to cancel a speech to the World Economic Forum on Latin America meeting in Rio do Janeiro.”

    And again:
    Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff left top bankers, investors and corporations CEO frustrated following her decision to cancel a speech to the World Economic Forum on Latin America meeting in Rio do Janeiro.

    And again:
    Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff left top bankers, investors and corporations CEO frustrated following her decision to cancel a speech to the World Economic Forum on Latin America meeting in Rio do Janeiro.

    Seems to be that Latin America is the only places on Earth where real politicians rule.
    The rest have some nice, clean cut financial administrators.

    May 02nd, 2011 - 03:42 am 0
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