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:

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Embraer’s Profits Fall Sharply, But Order Backlog Hits All-Time High

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer had net revenues of US$ 894.1 million in the third ...

Frei Betto’s Hotel Brasil: A Gripping Mystery That Will Keep You Guessing

Frei Betto (born Carlos Alberto Libânio Christo) is a well-known figure both in literary ...

In Brazil, Charity Begins at the Border

The population of Guyana has been afflicted by heavy rains and floods for nearly ...

You Will Be Hearing a Lot About Brazil’s MST and Their Marches and Invasions

No one knows if President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, reelected on October 29th, ...

Brazil: Dear President, Can You Spare a Job?

Mr. President, how about a popular vote to find out from Brazilians themselves what ...

Brazil’s Computers for All Program Will Offer Special Loans

Brazil’s Computers for All Program is intended to foster digital inclusion by making computers ...

US Inflation Once Again Brings Down Brazilian Stocks

Brazilian stocks retreated, extending recent losses, on continued worries about rising U.S. inflation and ...

Gol Spreads Its Brazilian Wings Through South America

Brazilian low cost airline Gol is beginning flights to Bolivia next Monday November 7 ...

Airbus Washes Hands of Brazil’s Deadliest Air Crash

The Airbus that crashed in São Paulo, Brazil, last month, killing 199 people showed ...

Murder of US Nun Deeply Shakes Brazil

Dorothy Stang, 76, a Catholic missionary from the US has been murdered Saturday by ...