Thursday, April 16, 2015

It’s getting crazy down in Brazil

President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil faces a perfect storm, from charges of corruption to a slowdown in the economy.
The marches are frequent and getting more hostile:
The ongoing corruption investigation of state-run energy company Petrobras may be her biggest problem, though. 
Last week, the country’s Supreme Federal Court approved investigations on 54 politicians, mostly from Rousseff’s Worker’s Party, suspected of being involved in a graft scheme with the oil giant. 
Rousseff herself isn’t implicated in the scandal. 
Even though she was chair of the Petrobras board at the time the alleged scheme occurred, she said she had no knowledge of any wrongdoing, and no evidence has surfaced implicating otherwise. Still, speculation about what she may have known has fueled the calls for impeachment.
As the scandal unfolds, Rousseff’s popularity has sunk to an all-time low of 23 percent, according to a February survey by Datafolha. 
And the impeachment calls have grown to the extent that Rousseff herself addressed them this week. “Stop looking for a third electoral round,” she said at a press conference Monday, according to news agency Efe
“The elections are over and a third round won’t happen, unless someone wants a breakdown of our democracy.”
Let’s hope that she survives in office.   
To be clear, I would not have voted for Miss Rousseff. She was reelected last year in a very close election. Her party played “the class warfare” card and did a good job of getting its supporters to vote.  
It was pathetic but elections sometimes turn out that way. 
At the same time, I think that Latin American countries need to see elected leaders serve out their terms. I understand the frustration in the streets but calls for “resignation” or even a “military coup” are not helpful.   
Didn’t Brazil already have a bad experience with a military junta?
Some in the streets want a Brazilian Pinochet, or a strongman who will bring order and clean up the corrupt public sector. Again, I understand the anger but a military government or special election is not the answer.
Brazil, like other Latin American countries, need to survive these storms rather than give in to people in the streets.  
Hopefully, these sad experiences with “populist” policies will make voters wiser. Maybe the voters will demand more transparency and honesty from their candidates in the future.
P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter.

Tags: Marches in Brazil,  2015 Brazil economy  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

It's now Obama vs Democrats on free trade

He beat up Hillary Clinton for her support of NAFTA and blamed everything on free trade agreements.
That was then and this is now.    
President Obama is now trying to pass a 12-nation free trade pact in Asia Pacific.  At the same time, he is having a very hard time persuading Democrats according to The Washington Post:
“Obama’s embrace of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) faces fierce opposition from some of his closest political allies and the organizational heart of the Democratic coalition: labor unions, environmental groups and the progressive wing of Congress. His critics on the left contend the pact would help American corporations in state-controlled foreign markets but would lead to job losses and exacerbate the growing income gap at home.”
President Obama was wrong in 2008 and he is right now.     We need this trade deal to promote US businesses in the Asia Pacific region.    
Unfortunately for President Obama, the Democrats are throwing his words from 2008 right back at him.
It’s like Obama’s chickens have come home to roost!   Yes they have.

P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter.



Tags: It's now Obama vs Democrats on free trade  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Cuba and other US-Latin America stories of the week




Tags: US-Cuba talks 2015  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

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