At Chávez Funeral Brazil President Rejects His Populism and Avoids Meeting Ahmadinejad

Lula and Dilma at Chavez's funeralBy leaving Caracas before Friday’s funeral ceremony for Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was once again trying to chart out a more moderate signal to investors and diplomats, plus probably avoiding Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom contrary to her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, she has strongly criticized.

Rousseff expressed sincere mourning while also keeping a certain distance from Chávez’s legacy just hours after his death on Tuesday. In a speech, she expressed admiration for the populist leader but also pointedly added that Brazil “did not entirely agree” with many of his policies.

The president and Lula have over the past ten years espoused a more pragmatic, business-friendly set of policies than Chávez, who was well-known for lashing out at Washington, expropriating companies and intimidating his political rivals.

Those close to Rousseff say she genuinely admired Chávez and his compassion for the poor, and was emotionally devastated by his death from cancer at age 58.

However, Rousseff and Lula also took numerous opportunities during the week to politely highlight disagreements with Chavez, which officials said was a carefully crafted campaign to draw a distinction between Brazil and Venezuela in the eyes of the international community and business leaders.

“The simple message is: ‘We’re different'” said Marco Aurelio Garcia, an advisor to the Brazilian executive. “Yes, we respect many things he did, and there is a shared cause… but Brazil is not the same as Venezuela.”

Such a message could bolster Brazil’s reputation as a leader among Latin American governments that in recent years have embraced its more moderate approach, marrying robust social policies with free-market principles.

Likewise Brazil ongoing lobby to reform the UN and obtain a permanent seat at the Security Council also calls for a more moderate approach to world affairs.

Rousseff and Lula did travel to Caracas on Thursday and joined a long line of well-wishers who visited Chávez’s casket. Rousseff also offered acting President Nicolás Maduro non-financial assistance in coming months if he wins an election to succeed Chávez, an official said.

The offer included technicians from Brazil’s vaunted “My House, My Life” public housing program to help work on similar projects in Venezuela.

Nonetheless, both Rousseff and Lula departed Venezuela prior to a funeral ceremony on Friday that was attended by dignitaries from more than 30 countries. Argentine President Cristina Férnandez de Kirchner was also absent from the Friday ceremony, although she attributed her early return to Buenos Aires to health reasons.

Rousseff had an additional reason to leave: avoiding Iran’s leader whom she has strongly criticized on human rights issues and the way women are treated by Teheran regime. Lula on the other hand while president established close links with Iran and Ahmadinejad visited Brazil during his eight year mandate.

Mercopress

 

Tags:

You May Also Like

Brazil Seizes US$ 87 Million in Contraband, a 130% Jump

The president of the Brazilian National Council to Combat Piracy and Intellectual Property Violations, ...

Madeira River in the Brazilian Amazon

Brazil’s Pharaonic Project for the Amazon Threatens Humans and Nature

In recent weeks, the Brazilian government has turned to the difficult task of building ...

Brazil and LatAm in Boom Phase. Caution Is Recommended Though

In Latin America the business climate in July reached its highest level in a ...

Why Is Brazil Celebrating?

How the crisis our country is currently experiencing will end, no one can yet ...

Brazilian Farmers Raise Goats in an All-Belongs-to-All Approach

In Santa Maria da Boa Vista, 611 kilometers (380 miles) away from the city ...

Grilled for 9 Hours in Congress, Brazil’s Finance Czar Denies Any Wrongdoing

During nine hours of testimony before the Brazilian Senate’s Commission on Economic Affairs, Wednesday, ...

US Calls Brazil World Leader in Ethanol and Deep-Sea Oil Drilling

Latin America is well placed to become a leader in supplying biofuels and renewable ...

Brazil’s Petrobras Threatened with Ousting from Bolivia

Bolivia's leftist government warned energy companies including Brazil's Petrobras that they must commit to ...

In France, This Whole Year, Brazil Is the Word

In 1985 France began a series of Cultural Seasons (“Saisons Culturelles”) which honored foreign ...

São Paulo, Brazil, governor Geraldo Alckmin

Brazil: The PSDB Takes the Hard Road

The manner in which the PSDB went about choosing its presidential candidate, Geraldo Alckmin, ...

WordPress database error: [Table './brazzil3_live/wp_wfHits' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
SHOW FULL COLUMNS FROM `wp_wfHits`