Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Brazil: Which Way Will She Go?

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, left, hugs Argentine filmmaker Fernando Birri, accompanied by Culture Minister Gilberto Gil during the ceremony of Cultural Merit Medals in the Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, on Wednesday

The direction of Brazil under Lula's last term is an item of some intense speculation. Key questions include will he continue to back Chavez, will he sign a trade agreement with the US and whether he will open the spigguts of the treasury to spur economic growth.

So far Lula has kept his (more conservative) economic team around, but he and his close advisors have made some relatively balsy statements. The latest has Lula ordering hise economic team to double growth in the next few years, from its current lackluster 2.5% to 5%. Increased spending on public works seems inevitable. What else is still a mystery.

For more of my take, check postings here and here from Mr. Andres Oppenheimer's blog.

And while I'm on Brazil, why not share this nuggets:

Communists for a Day, from Intl. Herald tribune
With President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visiting Venezuela and the nation's vice president undergoing medical tests in New York, Rep. Aldo Rebelo of the Communist Party of Brazil was named acting president in a ceremony late Sunday.

Rebelo did little revolutionary during his day in office Monday, attending a luncheon at the Sao Paulo Jockey Club and awarding a medal to Brazilian New York City Marathon winner Marlison Gomes dos Santos.

But the communist leader told reporters that his appointment was "proof of Brazil's democratic maturity."

Under Brazilian law, the vice president is named acting president during the president's absence and the chief of congress is next in line.


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