Gathered in Brazil 5 Presidents Tell the US: "We Told You So"

South American presidents Not all the action was in Switzerland. While bankers and politicians were meeting last week in Davos for the World Economic Forum a rival summit in the northern Brazilian city of Belém challenged them and blamed the capitalist system for the current global crisis.

Tens of thousands of socialists, anarchists, environmentalists, Amazon tribes and five South American presidents under the banner of "another world is possible" promoted Latin America as a model for global economic development and cooperation.

Basically the blame for the global economic crisis was on the United States and the bankrupt "neo-liberal" capitalist system and the message from the forum "we told you so."

US economic mismanagement is causing chaos across the world and "21st century socialism" is the only way forward, Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez said, leading the charge at the international meeting in Belém.

"Misery, poverty and unemployment are on the rise, and it's mostly the fault of global capitalism," Chavez said as cheering supporters waved red flags at the World Social Forum in the Amazon. "We are facing a crisis in the global capitalist system and the irresponsible economic policies of the government of the United States" he added.

Chavez was joined at the forum by some of his closest allies: Presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay and Evo Morales of Bolivia, plus the leader of the country hosting the meeting, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

About 100,000 activists are attending the forum, campaigning for everything from anarchism to rain-forest preservation to a return to Soviet-style communism. The forum has attracted a record of number of presidents this year as the financial crisis has sent economies into recession and forced rich countries to bail out their banking systems.

Correa and Lugo fired up the crowd in a university gym by serenading them with songs including "Comandante Che Guevara," a tribute to the late Latin American revolutionary.

They later joined Brazil's Lula at another gathering of thousands of activists, including hundreds of indigenous Amazon Indians in traditional headdresses and body paint.

Lula, whose policies have balanced social programs with free-market orthodoxy, brought a dozen cabinet ministers to the forum and spurned the Davos summit of business leaders in Switzerland that he had attended previously.

"I believe the crisis is much more severe. We don't know how deep it will go," he said, adding that his government would invest in industry to create jobs rather than give public money to banks as rich countries have done.

He said the US and other rich countries should get the same tough treatment that Latin American countries received during their financial crises in recent decades. "Now, I expect the IMF to go to US president Obama and tell him how to fix the economy," said Lula da Silva.

The Brazilian president, a former factory worker who has blamed the crisis on the United States and "casino" capitalism, got the biggest cheer of all the leaders but avoided socialist rhetoric.

Ecuador's Correa said the crisis showed that the "neo-liberal" model had failed, and said the social forum was now more relevant than the Davos World Economic Forum.

"They are the ones responsible for the crisis. They are not the ones to give us lessons," he said.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales, the country's first indigenous president, said social movements must ensure privileged elites no longer accumulate capital without considering the human cost.



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0 #49 Social Forum: One last commentRic 2009-02-10 14:41
Because the locals in Belem are talking behind closed doors about the folly of a World Cup in Belem after the Forum experience.

While in Belem I talked with two people who worked at UFRA during the conference. One is a married women who worked as a volunteer in the area where attendees signed up and got their credentials. She said that the feds sent 160 million reais two years ago to get things ready including making the two lane Perimetral Road into four lanes. Didn't get done. "One day I spent two hours on a city bus, on a two kilometer trip to the campus." She said there were some good speeches, on the environment, but not well marked and announced. The people in her section were trained for three days. The computers brought in had european keyboards. People who were sent by companies or schools could not find their names. The crew went to paper, pens and notebooks, instead of the computers. The registration materials were brought in at the same moment that people started to arrive to register, stacks and stacks of materials all around the room, people were coming in, taking "crachas", name tags, and selling them for 15 reais on the outside. The regular price was 30 reais for locals, 150 Euros for foreigners. People coming in be road or at the airport were left to fend for themselves. She said there were 20,000 people camped
out at UFRA, police were not allowed, only firemen, no vehicles, lots of pot, sex, mud. Welcome center often understaffed with two or three workers of an eveing, dozens milling around, 16 non-functioning european computers sitting around doing zero.

Then I talked to a fireman who worked at UFRA. He verified her story. People were taking more than name tags, whole silibi. Local perps painted themselves up like Indians and got inside, feigning non-Portuguese knowledge, in order to pick pockets and go thru backpacks, tents, busses. Lots of volunteers quit.

And now I quit. I hereby put this now old story to rest. -30-.
0 #48 i think you are right, joaoasp 2009-02-06 23:37
the guy downstairs is a gaucho , its just that it is his apartment the worker has to enter so he is the one who overules my choice . the condo will pay for it..

i could get riled about it with him, but, i dont like to conflict with my neighbors..

i prefer to use brazilian workers
0 #47 João da Silva 2009-02-06 13:17
this uraguaian has been jerking me off for 2 weeks now not showing up....bad desician by the guy down stairs....i sure cant stereotype brazilian workers with this kind of experiance...
What did you expect out of him? Didn't you know that lots of Uruguayans,Chileans, Argentine unskilled as well as semi skilled labor are here because of the "better opportunities" and at the same time pissing on the Brasilian workers? I don't know where your downstairs neighbor comes from, but I bet he is from the south of our "Border" who thinks that all the "Islanders" are a bunch of "babacões". If you really stop to think, we don't need outsiders telling us what to do.

So, my friend, if that Uruguayan does not know how to fix the problem, better call the Brasilian worker. Probably he would charge you half the price if he is an "Islander".
0 #46 im getting jerked around by an uraguain repair man right now....asp 2009-02-06 05:38
i would never call this guy, i usualy call brazilian repair men (one of the great guys i called fixed a dryer that has worked like a charm for years now...). this uraguain was hired by the brazilian below me who doesnt like the brazilian guy i called to help us fix a stupid problem.

this uraguaian has been jerking me off for 2 weeks now not showing up....bad desician by the guy down stairs....i sure cant stereotype brazilian workers with this kind of experiance...

if enough bad stuff happened anywhere,id want to leave too. i lived in new york 8 years and in the end , i hated it....the people, the atitudes, the violence ( it was violent then) the cost (there is another advantage in brazil...the cost). now i love new york again...after some time and distance

forrest, i just think these things lurk everywhere in the world.ive sighned sontracts in the states , paid lawyers to help me with the contract, and ,the contracts totaly ignored and broken...any more lawyer paying and i would have gone broke fast...yeah, you got legal recource it the usa...recource to pay a lawyer until you are broke

even the violence is brother just got violently mugged in santa fe new mexico...imagin being afraid of violence in brazil and staying in a place like santa fe for a more peacful life and then getting violently mugged
0 #45 boasp 2009-02-06 03:49
for sure, each persons experiance will shape their impresion of the place they have the experiance.and, your business or investments may involve much more beaurocarcy than i have to deal with. i just find that , northeast or south , each situation is differant for me.

in recife , i had very good experiances dealing with people in my business . for , sure, some rip offs also.but, my business is very improvisational and under the radar of beauracracy a lot of the time (but not all the time for sure) , and, inatley full of risk and vulnerable to rip offs any where i practice it in the world.

and, brazilians have to be improvisational to deal with the bullshit, so, sometimes we are all walking in an improvisational step together. if i was fixed on things having to be above ground and official, i think i would be messed up about it. ive had to lower my expectations in certain areas , but, the rewards in other areas are immense.for me, the culture , music , dance, food, beach life , keep trumping the business disapointments

i understand the delemas you are talking about, and,i can go down my list of various investments and business dealings and find things that were bad and things that were good.

one of my bigger investments was my apartment, which cost $40,000, which is un heard of most other places in the world. what could you get in the states for that ? of course it was built like shit, but, what can i expect for the price im paying ? so , somethings go right and some things go wrong.

and, understanding what you have said about the feeling that foreiners are vulnerable to being taken advantage of, i dont find that it is a day to day experiance, of people trying to take advantage of me. it definitly comes up, but, its too one sided to portray that as the rule.( i mean people hike prices up in my neihborhood for summer, they are way too high anyway, but, they just dont do it to foreiners, every one has to pay those prices....its just oportunistic abusive merchants that do it)

but ,lets agree that each persons experiances are going to be , you are going to have differant points of veiw
0 #44 how about the hidden contract Forrest Allen Brown 2009-02-06 03:46
any one ever had that pulled on them ?? it almost happend to me on a cattle deal
but my father inlaw got them ,
it worked like this i bought the cows shipped them to my land had a vet check them .
when all was done out came the transfer papers so with pen in hand i started to do the deal
when macros stoped me and said not right we looked better at the papers .
the way it was written i was leaseing the cows , and at sale i would pay on demand the owner
the brasilian the full price for the cows , so we stoped the deal well he went off on marcos
calling him every name he could think of , not knowing he was my wifes dad ,
marcos just stood there and took !!!!!!!! i ask him why he told me that the man was of higher class
and if he did something he would go to jail .!!.

so i invited him off my land with his cows we ran the hurd off into the road along with him .
so he called the police to have me put in jail for fasley saying i would by his cows .

well what a pain
0 #43 2009-02-06 02:12
You won't get an argument out of me concerning the existance of unscrupulous people in the U.S. But, when one talks about new york, it truly is a different beast than the rest of the country. NY and Miami are by far not "typical" american cities.

The point I'm making is you simply don't hear foreigners that go to the U.S., England, Canada, etc., saying in mass, "we got ripped off and taken advantage of because we are foreigners." Unfortunately, here in Brazil, and especially the northeast, it is all too common. Matter of fact I would place a hefty wager that the majority of foreigners here in the northeast when they come to invest get ripped off in one form or another.

I've been living here for 9 years by the way and started travelling to brazil in 1996. Although TODAY I speak fluent portuguese and am very familiar with the way business is done here, I STILL have to send a very good brazilian friend of mine in first of any serious negotiation simply because the knowledge of the other party knowing that a "gringo" is involved simply fucks everything up!

Now that last statement I made simply can't be made with any accuracy or generalization in the aforementioned countries above.
0 #42 aspJoão da Silva 2009-02-05 12:32
a lot of the people who want to rip me off would rip off other brazilians also
A quote of the week. You do speak for the Middle Class Brasilians. Unfortunately, the "Rip off" philosophy is becoming more and more common, encouraged fully by our "Rulers". Nothing wrong with our good workers,but they get carried away by the leftist propaganda. I can not stand the crocodile tears shed by our "labor court" judges who are very well paid, but pay their "Empregadas" half the salary stipulated by the law. Then they give big lectures to the businesspersons as how they are so cruel to their employees! It is disgusting and many Brazilians would agree with your point of view.
0 #41 boasp 2009-02-05 08:01
how long have you lived in brazil ?ive lived here 22 years.i came here from new york city when it was wild and whooly and every one was trying to hustle your shirt off. the way new york was back then, there was nothing that surprised me about brazil...about human charactor....

have i been hustled , ripped off,jived , nickel and dimed? sure, but, the same time i got ripped off on a few deals here in brazil, i was getting ripped off in my business from a couple of ass holes in the states....

ive done business and lived in the north east and have had great experiances just day to day dealing with people, and bad

once you are into day to day, its just human behavior from individual to individual. in my business ,in brazil,ive had some incredible people do work for me , then , a lot of mediocre chumps

with my apartment, horribly made , meant for a favela , like it was a doll house, ive had a lot of mediocre workers fix things, and, a couple of nothing short of awesome workers .and, every time i was disapointed with workers here, my mother would be complaining of the same thing in the states... incompatence in work these days is universal

ive had my share of taxi ripoffs and then a bunch who were totaly honest.

if i know people are looking to rip me off when they see me coming because im a gringo, for sure my radar is up against them...

a lot of the people who want to rip me off would rip off other brazilians also

there sure are a lot of people i have no problem with what so ever and there are some anti american assholes who have screamed out of buses to get out of their land...for me , anti americans are just skimmed over dog shit i just walk over.....

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