Monday August 3rd, 2015, 7:23 pm (EDT)

Brazil

The Strength and Fragility of the Brazilian Economy

Analyzing the Brazilian economy is a difficult and complex task; the current indicators register results ranging from excellent to mediocre and worrisome, depending on the variable observed. For example, the nation has advanced into modernity in a few sectors, while at the same time, in recent years, new forms of dependency from the center of capitalism deepened. Further complexities arise when, beyond the economy, one takes into consideration not only the results of so-called “inclusion” policies and the popularity of President Dilma Rousseff (popularly referred to as “Dilma”), but also the number of strikes and public displays of disenchantment that are emerging in every corner of the country.… To summarize some of the conclusions: since the government of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (“Lula”), the Brazilian economy has widened its internal market through policies that have raised the minimal wage, transferred income to the poorest within the nation, increased the availability of credit to the low and middle segments of the population, and reduced taxation (mainly on manufactured goods in the essential consumption basket). Such widening of the market, with a low impact on imports, would in theory ensure the maintenance of a certain level of growth, regardless of the international dynamics, and, indeed, it has helped Brazil reach a positive economic performance during the worst of the recent global economic crisis and its aftermath.… Nonetheless, when the impacts of the global recession deepened with the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, these macroeconomic policies did not yield the same effect, at most achieving modest growth.… | more |

Sweetened Realities that Fade Away

I was surprised today when I listened to the speech delivered by Jose Miguel Insulza in Cartagena. I thought that the person who was speaking on behalf of the OAS would at least claim some respect for the sovereignty of the peoples of this hemisphere which were for years colonized and cruelly exploited by colonial […]… | more |

The grave food crisis

Just 11 days ago, January 19, under the title “The time has come to do something,” I wrote: “The worst is that, to a large degree, their solutions will depend on the richest and most developed countries, which will reach a situation that they really are not in a position to confront, unless the world […]… | more |

My Recent Meeting with Lula

We met in Managua, on July 1980, 30 years ago, –during the commemoration of the first anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution– thanks to my contacts with the followers of the Liberation Theology, which had started in Chile when I visited President Allende there in 1971. I had heard about Lula from Friar Betto. He was […]… | more |

Much Ado about Nothing

Bush seemed happy to have Lula seated on his right during dinner on Friday. Hu Jintao, whom he respects for his country’s enormous market, the capacity to produce consumer goods at low cost and the volume of his reserves in U.S. dollars and bonds, was seated to his left.… | more |

Meeting Lula

It’s not the money injection per se to the developing countries that I criticized in my reflection yesterday, as some press dispatches chose to interpret.… | more |

January 2007 (Volume 58, Number 8)

January 2007 (Volume 58, Number 8)

In late November 2006 John Bellamy Foster traveled to Brazil where he delivered addresses on the global ecological devastation of capitalism, and the need for worldwide ecosocialist resistance, at two universities in the state of Santa Catarina: the Regional University of Blumenau and the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Florianópolis. These talks were part of the third annual Bolivarian Days Conference organized by the Institute of Latin American Studies in Brazil. The theme this year was “Social Theory and Eurocentrism in Latin America: The Insurgency of Critical Thought.” The conference provided ample evidence of the vitality of socialist and anti-imperialist critiques both in Brazil and in Latin America as a whole in what is clearly a new era of revolt… | more |

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