Will Brazil continue to prosper as America has under Mr. Obama?
From the Center for American Progress:
With President Obama’s visit, the White House aimed to strengthen
President Rousseff as she consolidated power within her own Workers’
Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores) after taking over from her
wildly popular predecessor, two-term President Luiz Inácio Lula da
Silva, known as Lula. During his two-day visit, President Obama spent
substantial one-on-one time with President Rousseff and pointedly
snubbed her most important political adversaries in the Brazilian Social
Democracy Party. The message was clear—Rousseff is our chosen partner.
Obama’s visit to Rousseff—a little known former political activist of
Bulgarian descent who was jailed during Brazil’s military
dictatorship—just three months into her first term constituted a massive
vote of confidence for Brazil’s new leader and was not without
political risk for the White House. Clearly, from the perspective of the
Obama administration, Rousseff’s election offered a unique opportunity
for a renewed partnership between the two governments. With the
emergence of a new global geometry and new centers of economic and
political clout, it is clear that the United States has a vital interest
in reaching out to democratic powers like Brazil. Likewise Brazil’s
interests are served by a strengthening of this relationship as well.
Expertly scripted and executed, President Obama’s visit was
exceptionally productive. A number of important cooperative agreements
were signed or advanced on issues ranging from defense and peacekeeping
to biofuels, science and technology to education. If a clear strategic
vision for the future of this partnership has not yet been defined, the
presidential visit represented a bold beginning and underlined the
willingness of the United States to be an equal partner with Brazil in
the Western Hemisphere.
Returning the president’s gesture, President Rousseff will pay an
official visit to Washington today, with a strong focus on business
relations and higher education. Certainly Rousseff will be able to share
an impressive success story: Over the past decade, her Workers’ Party
has presided over amazing economic growth and an impressive and
necessary redistribution of wealth in Brazil through the wildly popular bolsa familia program—a conditional cash transfer plan designed to fight poor living conditions.
As a result of these progressive economic initiatives, more than 40
million people have been lifted out of poverty. In addition,
infrastructure investments have increased and economic growth has
improved, even in the poor and long-neglected northeast region of the