1989: Berlin Wall Falls and Brazil’s Cold War Comes to an End

Berlin Wall's Fall The significant changes that took place in Brazil's politics and society in 1989 and afterwards are deeply connected to the larger global processes launched that year. In fact, they can be understood not as the product of the end of the cold war in the country but as the end of the cold war itself in Brazil.

Brazil's self-image at the time was of Shakespearean proportions. After twenty years of a military regime (1964-85), it was preparing for the first democratic presidential elections of a new era amid a deep economic and social crisis.

A race of twenty-two candidates was won by Fernando Collor de Mello, who defeated Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in a run-off (Lula eventually reached the office in 2002 after two more defeats). The whole experience generated a convulsive political debate in Brazil, in which a great number of ideas about Brazil's economic model and international integration circulated.

The effect was a frontal challenge both to the framework of development that had prevailed since the 1950s (which continued Brazil's traditional economic isolation) and the export model established with the approval of the IMF after the debt crisis of the 1980s.

But this challenge was made possible only by the exciting context of 1989: namely, the notion of an unprecedented crisis in Brazil, and of a world in a process of radical transformation as the cold war ended and borders (and markets) opened. The experience of 1989 in Brazil opened spaces for the arrival of new ideas focusing on the need for a more integrated economy and a major reform of the state.

This crucial moment in Brazil's history belongs, in my view, within the wider dynamics of transformations of 1989. This approach, I believe, allows Brazil to be seen both as part of the global processes of the period yet also making its own contribution to it in terms of the development of a new political language and democratic framework in the country.

Arthur Ituassu is professor of international relations at the Pontifí­cia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You can read more from him at his website: www.ituassu.com.br. This article appeared originally in Open Democracy – www.opendemocracy.net.



You May Also Like

EU and Mercosur Betting They Will Soon End Stalemate for Accord

The European Union seeks to reach an associative agreement with Mercosur in May 2006, ...

Brazil-USA: Bumpy Road Ahead

I foresee a deterioration of relations between the Bush administration and Lula’s PT version ...

Brazil’s Big Industries Invest 8% of Revenues in Fixed Assets

Brazilian industries have expanded their investment in productive capacity in 2006, according to a ...

Better Yields from US Treasury Lower Brazilian Shares

Brazil’s and Latin America’s shares fell, with Brazilian and Mexican equities pulling back from ...

Brazilian President dirties hand in oil to celebrate Brazil's self-sufficiency in the product

Without Goals Brazil Won’t Reach Self-Sufficiency in Science and Technology

After almost eighty years of effort, we have attained self-sufficiency in petroleum. That process ...

Fresh Icons

Thanks to the lowest common denominator factor even the less gifted new Brazilian idols ...

The Sublime Madam

Eny Cezarino, arguably was Brazil’s most famous and powerful courtesan ever. Her Casa de ...

Brazil: Software Firms Join the Free Software Bandwagon

The Brazilian government has won an unlikely ally in its campaign to spread the ...

US$ 1.65 Million from US to Fight Hunger and Sex Exploitation in Brazil

Strengthening the family as a means to combat hunger and the sexual exploitation of ...