…a sparkling week for us democracy – the charade of the ‘light’ brigade… 

…as the past meets the present to remind the region (and the world)…

The President of Brazil whose country was spied on by the United States would on Wednesday, 10 December, release the findings of the country’s Truth Commission. To The Guardian we go for, Brazil president weeps as she unveils report on military dictatorship’s abuses. A few excerpts,

The Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, wept on Wednesday as she unveiled the findings of a Truth Commission investigation into the systematic murder, torture and other abuses carried out during the country’s military dictatorship.

After a nearly three-year study, the commission confirmed that 191 people were killed and 243 “disappeared” under military rule, which lasted from 1964 to 1985. More than 200 have never been found.

Read the rest of this entry »

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…suffer the poor little children of the us (and uk) to, well, suffer?…

…nothing like exceptional performance…

So UNICEF has a report on child poverty, and some members of the ‘community of civilized nations’ seem to have fared not so well. But before we get there, a digression, and an enlightening one.

On Sunday, 26 October 2014, in Brazil Dilma won her re-election from strong opposition domestically and elsewhere. That victory served to remind the country and its neighbours, and others, of how far Brazil has come since 2003, when the Workers Party first won the right to govern. The powerful domestic oligarchy combined with not-helpful US activities, though daunting obstacles, proved to be not at all insurmountable – as results showed. So even the US spying on the Brazilian President came up somewhat short in the outcome of the elections.

Dilma’s electoral success is described in a post by Andrea Germanos at common dreams, Continuing Latin America’s ‘Left Turn,’ Brazil’s Rousseff Wins Re-Election. The ‘take away’ on this, and remembering Brazil’s earlier socio-economic conditions, Read the rest of this entry »


…on sunday, 26 october – uruguay and brazil…

…two momentous elections, with another in the offing…

TeleSUR provides the English updates on the elections, In 60 Seconds: 2 Days Until Elections in Brazil, Uruguay. There is also an information tab for each country. Not to be forgotten is the tenure of outgoing Uruguayan President José ‘Pepe’ Mujica.

As is known, Latin America is one of the most unequal and poor regions in the world. However, over the last decade or so rapid strides have been made in alleviating poverty and inequality, and in increasing opportunities through education and training. TeleSUR provides a profile of the socio-economic progress made by some of these countries under the stewardship of these leaders. Latin America Provides Alternative Paths to Successful Poverty Reduction. As explained, the path chosen is unlike that recommended by the late Prime Minister of the UK, Margaret Thatcher, who also famously said something to the effect that there is no such thing as society.

Specific to the governments that face elections, there is this,

The significant gains made in Latin America in reducing poverty, especially in countries led by left-wing governments that reject the neoliberal economic prescriptions that Thatcher praised and Washington continues to promote, proves that not only are there alternatives to free market capitalism, but that these alternatives are more humane and effective in creating egalitarian societies.

Of course, such information is available from international organisations such as the World Bank/IMF and ECLAC. The economic research site CEPR has also generated studies to that effect.

…in contention, continuation of economic development focused on all the population as against a turn back to neoliberalism…

 

 


…globalisation, how bad?…

…well, that depends?…

At the Lindau meeting of ‘Nobel’ Prize Winners in economics the topic of globalisation came up for discussion. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph (paywall after a few freebies) provides his analysis. While he rates his article as technical, we simplify a tad. Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality between 0 and one or 0 and 100%. The higher the value the higher the inequality.Nobel gurus fear globalisation is going horribly wrong (technical). One observation from the 2007 Prize Winner,

Prof Maskin said it would be a counsel of despair to turn away from globalisation. The last quarter-century has led to a surge in living standards for the emerging world as a whole. Yet it must be tamed. An answer lies in Brazil, one of the few countries to buck the trend and lower its Gini index.

One of the tricks was a scheme introduced twelve years ago to make “conditional cash transfers” to poor families provided their children stay in school up to the age of 17, and must be vaccinated. The idea is spreading to Africa and the Mid-East.

Another trick is to build public transport linking the poorest slums with the places where the jobs can be found, usually far away. This is the task of microeconomics, one brick at a time.

 Brazil, rich in resources, has had to overcome high poverty and levels of inequality. It introduced social policies aimed at reducing poverty and inequality. Venezuela is yet another of those Latin American that implemented policies that focused on developing its human resources, and with significant results to show.

…globalisation as defined and applied elsewhere trumps the interventionist globalisation forcefully promoted by the west?…


…the brew, the thought – the end draws near…

…a rich and varied culture that is Brazil, the country that has proved itself an excellent host…

To imagine only yesterday the World Cup 2014 had started. What other way to show appreciation for an enjoyable World Cup 2014, despite those 7-1 and 3-0, mere motivation for 2018, when there will be some of the same and other countries vying for football supremacy.

…a hearty thanks for the memories to the teams, ‘upstarts’ and favourites, that had us watching is certainly in order…

 


…comes brasil, comes chile, comes this…

…as a ‘warm up…


…the days dwindle down…

…to the big day – start of the World Cup…

The football writer of the BBC in South America has a look at a certain team, Brazil’s defensive brilliance ‘key for a nation that demands winners’

With such a team, this has to be the year?