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What Brazil Wants from Obama: End to Farm Subsidies and to Cuba’s Embargo

US president elect Barack Obama Barack Obama's victory in the United States presidential election represents most of all the recognition of what democracy means, according to Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. For him, whoever doubted that a black could be elected president of the United States now knows that it can.

"It can only because this is happening in a democratic regime, which allows society to express itself."

The Brazilian leader called Obama's election, the first black in the US history to become president, "an extraordinary achievement." He stressed that the president elect is  "a person who has demonstrated political skill."

Lula said he hopes that Obama will have a stronger connection with Latin America and Africa and in special with South America and Brazil. "I hope that Obama has a policy more geared to the productive development in Latin America,"  Lula told journalists in Brasí­lia this Wednesday, November 5, 2008, after a ceremony to celebrate the 20 years of the Brazilian latest Constitution.

And the continued "I have no doubt  that on the part of Brazil we are going to continue building this productive partnership that we have with the USA. And I hope that it can improve with the Obama administration."

Lula asked for an end to the subsidies that Washington gives to American producers -  a core issue in the negotiations on global trade – as well as an end to the US embargo to Cuba, imposed to the island in the 60s. " There is no explanation in the history of mankind for the blockade to Cuba," argued Lula.

The Brazilian president also talked about the Israelis and their Arab neighbors: "I hope he is able to finally reach a peace agreement in the Middle East, because for decades this has been tried and it hasn't succeeded".

Later in the day, Lula came back to the US election subject and commented: "We, Brazilians, are after Nigeria the second largest black nation in the world and we need to be optimistic, hopeful and have much pride, because it is not small potatoes to elect a black president of the United States. As Brazilians we are happy with the election. And we will be even happier if the US relations get better with our subcontinent."

The president of Brazil's Supreme Court, Gilmar Mendes, called Obama's victory "a special moment." But he warned, however, that "campaign is something and management, administration is something else." "It is fundamental that there are definitions, especially at this time in the world economy", added Mendes.

The speaker of the House, Arlindo Chinaglia, said that, while expected, the victory of Barack Obama is surprising for its historical dimension, for the life trajectory of the president elect. "Leaders who fought for political rights in the US and that are still alive fulfilled a dream".

Chinaglia said he is hopeful that the new president will take measures to change the US relations with Latin America and especially with the Middle East. The House leader stated that the challenge is big since Obama is taking over during an international financial crisis.


  • Show Comments (12)

  • forrest allen brown

    he is the president of the US
    and has to answer to the people of the US first .

    like doing all the stuff he said he was going to do
    to get his job.
    and only go out and put up with all
    the low life countries wanting from the US
    but never giving back .

    like CASTRO and LULA
    DEMANDING the cuban kid back as he had no living parents in the US but did in cuba

    so why dont you give back the boy to his dad
    and say you are sorry

    like that will ever happen a brazilian saying sorry
    he could kill the cuba embargo
    but would loose florida next time

  • Ric

    Not Viable
    Seems to me that the one thing Obama cannot do is lift the Cuba embargo. Politically it’s not possible.

  • ch.c.

    should that also apply to China, Russia, and other countries that view human rights as a tertiary afterthought?
    Well…that is what the USA, Europe and Japan try to do with the other countries you mentionned !
    Better yet….look at what Your New President said during his campaign.

    And an asian view is :
    ““The immediate concern with Obama will be economic relations,” said Wu Xinbo, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. “The U.S. will be less forthcoming in pursuing economic liberalization in the Asia region” because of concerns about jobs lost to trade.
    Obama’s goal of corralling developing economies into binding pollution-reduction commitments and his pledges to insert labor and environmental standards in trade agreements may spark unified opposition in an Asia that has more tools than ever to resist Western pressure.”

    They simply get it all wrong ! Because it is with our money and our technolgies that these countries are more developed than earlier, not the other way around ! Same for jobs !
    Vinnycarioca I remember how furious you were against the U.S. bailout of the U.S. Financial System, but but but
    this is with that system that America GREW, and will continue to grow.
    As scary as the number may look for a “normal” guy, then look also elsewhere such as in China with a much lower GDP than the USA !
    There it is not only the agriculture that is subsidizised BUT ALL INDUSTRIES !!!!!
    ALL Chinese Banks were technically in defaults for many years using our western standards !
    Non performing bank loans in China are stagerring.(Well before the acual crisis)
    Please read what I just read on the subject :

    And there will be far more to come, because this time probably the USA and Europe and Japan will have a recession that will penalize the emerging countries far more than ours….ultimately !!!!!

    Just think about it :
    China has US$ 250 billion TRADE SURPLUS ! Right ?
    But….BUT…BUT…. China has a trade surplus of around Us$ 250 billion with the USA and a trade surplus of around Us$ 150-200 billion with the EU !!!!
    Fact is that their trade deficits are with OTHER EMERGING NATIONS for around Us$ 200 billion !

    What are they going to do if we say….Tsssk Tsssk…NO MORE ??????
    Because as I said, whatever they produce, we can produce too and with our money !

    In my view, we have the knife and the hammer ! They dont !
    And if they dont want the Us$ or the Euro in their foreign currencies reserves, that is just fine for us ! What are they going to do
    with these currencies ? Sell ? Very good ! To whom ? And replace with what ? the Brazilian Real, Argentina Peso, Indian Rupee, Indonesian Rupee, south African Rand or Russian Ruble ????????

    And the same is for Russia, India and Brazil or OPEC countries !
    I just remind you that investing their reserves into Government bonds in US$, Euros or Japanese Yen is bearing LESS AND LESS AND LESS….INTERESTS !
    And its going to be even LOWER by the end of the year !!!!!! And even lower early next year !

    They are going to give us back most of what belong to us : our money !
    We cant give them back their shoes, toys, oil or soyabeans. Already consuned and paid for !


    😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉

  • Augustus

    An end to Cuban embargo? Personal objections versus Greater Considerations…
    Although I have always been strongly against lifting any embargo and/or holding discussions with oppressive, totalitarian government (such as Cuba, North Korea) and even Islamic fundamentalist states (such as Iran), I might have to reconsider such views and positions…

    If the new administration were to decide taking such drastic steps, in order to attempt transforming the Worlds, it’s clear that I should equally “do the walk” by overriding any personal objection, thus providing wholeheartedly my support!

    If this is the appropriate step, deemed necessary towards improving our lives and our future, why not indeed?

  • Augustus

    It’s the time for Powerful moral statements… And collective contributions…
    The ideal approach for the inhabitants of our small blue planet at this point in our History, might be the adoption of minor steps towards À¢€œhopeÀ¢€ÂÀ¢€¦ if only we could take advantage of the potential for monumental changes suddenly lying ahead, since last night, mankind might even surprise itself as well as the rest of the Universe…

    Provided Mr. Obama “does the walk” as magnificently well as he articulates so noble ideals (as I suspect he might), provided all Americans and their fellow earthlings made a collective effort and endeavor to contribute, by joining this ethereal wave of hope hovering around us, Martin Luther KingÀ¢€™s and John LennonÀ¢€™s dreams might even materializeÀ¢€¦

    If we could only give Mr. Obama a chance, or at least (positively) the benefit of a doubt, mankind might miraculously move another small step forward and planet EarthÀ¢€™s become a slightly better place…

  • VinnyCarioca

    [quote]Worse yet….the call it THE BRAZILIAN MODEL…that others should implement in their own countries !
    Brazil wants to EXPORT their Bad Behaviours the World Over.
    And they do this with ARROGANCE IN THEIR PUBLIC STATEMENTS !!!!!!!!
    The USA, Europe and Japan should ban all trades with Brazil !!!!! No imports and No exports !
    Whatever they produce is mostly with our technologies and money anyway !!!!! [/quote]
    A very moral and powerful statement indeed. As much as I agree with you in concept, should that also apply to China, Russia, and other countries that view human rights as a tertiary afterthought? Would their position as an intertwined component of the global economy insulate them from such?

  • ch.c.

    Welcome !

    Brazil did something similar to a young British named Craig.
    Craig with no personal money had created an orphanage in Brazil ! What a great guy !
    A few years ago he was accused of sex with minors. he had Nooooo local lawyer for his defense !
    He was sentenced to 11 years in jail.
    Later the children admitted they lied, They were influenced by adults in the area !
    Neither the Local Courts, nor the Higher Courts and not even LULA agreed to re-open the case !!!!!!

    And also :
    – No one was ever punished for having put 1 girl in jail cells with many males ! So shameful that it was SEX FOR FOOD…for thIS girl ! And it did not happened once only but in several jails houses !!!!!
    – the Brazilian famous Court of INJustice sentenced to 4 years jail term, a young mom, aged 19-20, for having stolen…A TUBE OF BUTTER !!!!!!!!!

    And then LULA and his gang want to give lessons to others !!!!!!!
    Worse yet….the call it THE BRAZILIAN MODEL…that others should implement in their own countries !
    Brazil wants to EXPORT their Bad Behaviours the World Over.
    And they do this with ARROGANCE IN THEIR PUBLIC STATEMENTS !!!!!!!!

    The USA, Europe and Japan should ban all trades with Brazil !!!!! No imports and No exports !
    Whatever they produce is mostly with our technologies and money anyway !!!!!
    Without us, Brazil will reforest…NATURALLY !!!!!

  • ch.c.

    Cuba’s Embargo
    Why then Cubans prefer the USA rather than Brazil ?
    Why then Brazil doesnt tell Cubans….”dont go there…come here……we need more low paid workers. We are going to double
    our sugarcane fields, therefore we need more workers. And cubans are already skilled for cutting manually the sugarcane fields. BAD WORKING CONDITIONS GUARANTEED”

    Yesssss…if you like Cubans so much, feel free to trade with them as much you want !
    Such as……. Brazilian Sugar against Cuban Sugar or Cigars !!!!!!!

    On a more serious note,
    Why dont you allow a LITTLE CUBA area in SP or Rio…such as in Miami ??????
    Why dont you allow more Cubans Doctors in Brazil ? Are your healthcare and hospitals not in need of GOOD & SKILLED doctors for the tens of millions of BRAZILIANS poors ?????????

    Had Cuba more democracy, no doubt that by now they would be much more developed and wealthy than Brazil !

    Sad reality !!!!

  • SteveW

    Improve U.S. relationship by defeating injustice
    If Lula wants to improve U.S. relationships he can start by ensuring that the Brazilian justice system enforces international treaties. Sean Goldman is a child, a U.S. citizen, and a victim of custodial kidnapping, having been taken to Brazil by his mother. For four years he has been seperated from his father, in spite of a Brazilian Central Authority statement that by law, he should have been returned to the United States for a custody hearing. Now that his mother has died, his step-father, JoÀƒ£o Paulo Lins e Silva, continues to fight an immoral and unethical legal battle in a heartless attempt to keep Sean from his natural father. In order to be considered a civilized country, Brazil must enforce its international agreements such as the Hague Treaty. Additionally, the U.S. has a responsibility to look after the welfare of its citizens. For futher information, please see http://bringseanhome.org.

  • ch.c.

    Ohhhh and by the way…..
    on what I said above “And the more your currencies fall, the more your FOREIGN currencies will act as SUPPORT since every Us$ will be worth more of your own local currencies !!!!!”

    Of course…..provided your GOVERNMENTS dont sell their foreign currencies reserves to support your local currencies !

    No doubt this is the reason the U.S. FED lent US$ 30 Billion to Mexico, Brazil and Singapore ! This will provide more ammunition IN CASE of disorderly declines,,,,,,,,without reducing your own foreign currencies reserves !


  • ch.c.

    Lula asked for an end to the subsidies that Washington gives to American producers
    What about the U$ DOLLARS 50 billion Brazil is giving to its farmers at a MUCH SUBSIDIZED INTEREST RATE ????????
    80 % OF IT GOING TO….COMMERCIAL FARMERS, and only 20 % to family farmers !

    Joao :
    Do you remember what I said yesterday about Obama if he would win ???????
    1) He is the President of the USA and has to defend U.S. citizens…FIRST, just as Lula or whoever defend their citizens ! Right…or not ?
    2) I also talked about the U.S. Tade Deficit that not only americans criticizes, BUT CURIOUSLY also the emerging nations while they are the main beneficiaries of this trade deficit ! Somewhat laughable these foreign critics when the Us$ went down !!!!!

    Welll Joao, nearly everyone forgot what Obama said during his campaign, but neither the Chinese…(nor me) :

    ” Asia’s leaders, led by an ascendant China, say they hope Barack Obama didn’t really mean those campaign promises to protect American trade.”

    Fact is that ALL emerging nations protect their own trade far more than the USA or the EU !
    Emerging nations only want to EXPORT but import the least possible. To do so, they force developed nations to produce (cars or trucks for example) in their own countries (emerging nations) and put a very stiff import tax on imported vehicles.
    End results :
    – this creates unemployment in developed nations and employment in emerging nations !
    – this also allowed you to build foreign currencies reserves, since you also export vehicles !
    – this is what made your currencies strength and the US$ weakness ! There is always 2 sides in a coin !

    Welll….now…just think for five minutes and analyze the only possible outcome…in the years ahead !
    In my humble view, you are going to continue to grow but in…YOUR LOCAL CURRENCIES, and no longer in US$ as you did in the last 5 years ! Meaning your currencies can only GO DOWN for several years !
    Many emerging nations currencies are already at 10-20 % from their HISTORICAL RECORD LOW !!!!!!!! India is already at their Historical Record Low.
    Iron ore, steels prices and consumptions are PLUMETTTING ! The World largest steel company, Mital from India, announced today
    that they will cut their output capacity by 30 % INSTEAD OF 15 % ! That should be not that great for Cia Vale, Siderugica, Usiminas etc etc.
    Commodities from oil to grains should continue to fall….in US$. But if your currencies also go down that will amortize the decline and if they fall by more this will still end up as GROWTH…..IN YOUR LOCAL CURRENCIES !
    And the more your currencies fall, the more your FOREIGN currencies will act as SUPPORT since every Us$ will be worth more of your own local currencies !!!!!

    Today, one of your Minister reduce sharply your GDP Growth for 2009 ! And more reduction will come as time passes !

    You are not accustomed (too young) to understand what is going to happen in many emerging nations : DEFAULTS from many many many small to mid size comoanies and individuals. Your banks will be loaded with NON PERFORMING LOANS ! Your governments and your currencies will bear the costs…one way or the other !

    Just for your information, please read what is already happening in China and you will get a better picture not only for China, but also for ALL emerging nations :


    And it has nothing to do with restricted lending from developed nations, but from YOUR/THEIR LOCAL banks….even in local currencies. Because for nearly 100 % of individuals, small or mid size companies, they dont have access to lending from foreign banks but only from THEIR LOCAL BANKS. This is as true for a European, American or Chinese or Brazilian or whoever !!!!

    Even the currencies from some OPEC members WENT DOWN…..despite their truckloads of foreign currencies resserves.
    Dont get trapped in the confusion of what others may explain !
    If banks expect too many outstanding loans that wont be repaid, they are NOT gonna to lend more, regardless of what their government may say or ask !!!!! HSBC already said it publicly ! And all banks, due to higher lending risks, will increase their spread rate on the newer loans because they will still lend “something” to larger and better quality borrowers , to amortize their expected losses elsewhere !

    And finally, look at what happened in South America CURRENCIES….AFTER….the 1982 and 1992 U.S. recessions and AFTER the 1998 very light financial crisis due to LTCM !!!!!

    And saying you are better prepared, I say yes. But it doesnt mean you are WELL PREPARED.
    Quite a difference.

    😮 😮 😮 😮 😮

  • João da Silva

    [quote]The president of Brazil’s Supreme Court, Gilmar Mendes, called Obama’s victory “a special moment.” But he warned, however, that “campaign is something and management, administration is something else.” “It is fundamental that there are definitions, especially at this time in the world economy”, added Mendes.

    Pay attention to what Gilmar Mendes said.

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