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Brazil’s New Cabinet Has Man Who Kidnapped US Ambassador in 1969

Franklin Martins at the time he was wanted by the police

Franklin Martins at the time he was wanted by the police Brazilian President Lula da Silva and his newly formed ruling coalition completed the reshuffling of the ministerial cabinet and announced "politics with a big P, thinking in the country of the next 20 years".

In his welcome speech to the incoming ministers of Agriculture, Tourism and International Relations, President Lula said that when reelected last October he considered keeping his whole cabinet "since we were a winning team," but admitted that the new coalition for his second four year mandate imposed changes.

But, "these changes are guided not for immediate governance or in support of legislation in Congress" but with the intention of "making politics with a big P thinking in the country of the next 20 years", not only the coming four.

Marta Suplicy, a former mayor of the city of São Paulo and one of the founders of Lula's Workers Party in 1980 became Tourism minister. She replaced Walfrido Mares Guia, a chemical engineer who was named Minister for Institutional Relations, which was vacant since Tarso Genro moved to the Justice Department.

On suggestion from the conservative PMDB party, which is helping Lula have a majority in Congress, Reinhold Stephanes was named Minister of Agriculture. Stephanes is an economist who has served with previous administrations: in 1990/92 as minister of Social Welfare and Labor Minister under former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Stephanes takes office at a challenging moment since the strong Brazilian currency is eroding farmers' profits that have helped Brazil break export records year after year.

The Brazilian Agriculture and Livestock Confederation said that the sector's GDP in 2006 had dropped 2.2% compared to 2005 and now stand at US$ 71.3 billion, according to a report from the Applied Economics Department from the prestigious University of São Paulo.

This in spite of the fact that agriculture expanded 4.5% and livestock 3.8%, but real prices dropped 4.6% and 7.9% respectively. With a strong real, infrastructure, financial and domestic costs have ballooned in US dollars, argue farmers.

Next week Lula will swear in the ministers of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, and Communications. The first cabinet seat goes to Miguel Jorge, a leading banker from Santander-Banespa, and Communications to Franklin Martins, a journalist, former guerrilla who participated in the September 4, 1969 kidnapping of then United States ambassador Charles Elbrick.

Martins writes in his own site – www.franklinmartins.com.br: "1968 was a crucial year in the struggle against the dictatorship. We did not have the strength to oust it but we could cause lots of trouble and that we did… strikes, lightening-meeting (brief street speeches that ended before the police could arrive) occupation of schools, demonstrations, confrontation with the police.

"Personally, my life turned upside down. I hardly went to school and spent my days and nights agitating. Soon the police started looking for me and I had to leave home."

And he adds a few paragraphs below: "In September 1969, I joined the group, formed by activists of the National Liberating Action (ALN) and the October 8 Revolutionary Movement (MR-8), which kidnapped the American ambassador Charles B. Elbrick to force the government to release 15 political prisoners."
 
On March 16, the ministries of National Integration, Public Health and Justice were filled with Geddel Vieira Lima, José Gomes Temporão and Tarso Genro.

Mercopress, Bzz

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  • Show Comments (13)

  • bo

    Jamie..
    I actually read it in an article on this website over the last year or so. I keep links for many stats on brazil and other countries, but not for everything. You may try doing a search on this site. It’s certainly very understandable though, brazil does NOT have a big international tourism industry, to put it into perspective, and these stats I have, but the state of florida has approximately 10X the number of international tourists every year than the entire country of brazil.

  • Jamie3

    [quote]AES, tourism, in overall value, is not a benefit to the brazilian economy. Matter of fact, brazilians spend more travelling outside brazil than foreigners do travelling to brazil. Do you know what the #1 economy in brazil is? Brazilians, or others outside of brazil, sending money to brazil!!! Over the last year it is competing with the soybean industry as being the largest industry in brazil!!![/quote]

    Can this be verified and or quantified (qualified) scholastically, or economically? Meaning, ya gotta a linky-dinky to something more credible than JoÀƒ£o feijÀƒ£os pinga-dinga pousada e boate website? I wouldnÀ‚´t be surprised at all, please donÀ‚´t take this the wrong way, but I would like to see it for myself and to keep it on record. I had heard some years back that 30% of the Brazilian PIB was dedicated to security, IÀ‚´ve not found anything to verify it, sadly. You seem fairly up to speed on the comings and goings, and SHORTCOMINGS of this (could be great) nation, so a little more substance behind the rhetoric would be greatly appreciated. Keep posting….. and donÀ‚´t let the bastards bring you down.

  • João da Silva

    TO:CH.C
    Dear Ch.C,

    Thanks for your reply. I was merely expressing the Government policy and NOT MINE.You do make lots of sense with your data,which are quite enlightening.

    I wonder if you were keeping track of the debates between the presidential candidates in the elections last year. One of the candidates (who lost) kept on hammering about the effects of importing from PRC and he warned about the unemployment and long term ills it would cause to the Brazilian economy.He was rational in his arguements and still he lost.

    Unfortunately, we dont want bright and honest guys to be elected.We do believe in government hand outs of R$50 per month.BTW,in one of your posts in another thread, you agreed with me that in the 60À‚´s and 70À‚´s, our country did grow. After 1985, the nation lost its identity and we dont have any short,middle or long term growth strategy. I wonder if you read the posts of one said Van Beethoven. His posts are interesting and describes the sad reality.

    Having said my piece, I am about to open a can of beer and enjoy my Sunday afternoon.

    Thank you so much.

  • bo

    [quote]written by aes, 2007-03-24 14:28:11

    And as to the new Minister of Tourism. Brazi like Hawaii is a tourist based economy, at least it comprises a profound sector of the economy.[/quote]

    AES, tourism, in overall value, is not a benefit to the brazilian economy. Matter of fact, brazilians spend more travelling outside brazil than foreigners do travelling to brazil. Do you know what the #1 economy in brazil is? Brazilians, or others outside of brazil, sending money to brazil!!! Over the last year it is competing with the soybean industry as being the largest industry in brazil!!!

  • CH.C.

    To JoÀƒ£o da Silva
    Your statement : We export raw material to PRC and they export cheap goods to us!!!!

    Thus you export even cheaper basic goods to them, since they can still add value through transformation, and resell all over the world, at a cheap price, but still making a profit !

    In my view it is a perfect arrangement as you say…but for wealthy countries !!!!!!

    Here we are going to retire anyway….thus having Brazilians selling cheap basic commodities and Chinese producing cheap appliances, cars and whatever is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT in our view.
    Even more so since most of the production is done with our pension funds and savings…generating a high return !!!!

    Triple whammy by now : high return on our savings and pension funds and cheap goods and food available !
    Better is hard to find.
    Paradise is for us …at the beaches, with cocktails, while you keep working hard !

    Please please please…produce more and more…..but cheaper and cheaper…so that we can buy still far more with our money and also earn more if you increase your productivity !!!!!!

    What a great world….finally !!!!!

  • ch.c.

    Interesting comments…but full of errors !
    – Value of the Reais :
    a) The Reais is still down 50 % against the US$ compared to what it was 10 years ago ! Your currency is up around
    100 % …..but after a devaluation of 75 % !!!!!! Meaning that 1 Reais was worth 1 US$, then 0,25 and now close to 0,50 !
    Is this what you consider as strong ? Brazilians have very very short memories…in my view.
    b) The Reais has NOT BEEN THAT STRONG against the EU or other well known currencies even during the last few years, but ALSO had
    the sharp devaluation just earlier.
    c) Thus believing that your currency is so strong…is not correct….except if you have a short term view. And no one can have
    success or what they call sustainability using a short term approach, but this is exactly what you do !

    2) Brazil is like HawaÀƒ¯ !!!!!
    You think it is, but is is not….sorry for you !
    a) in HawaÀƒ¯ beaches are cleaned, dirty and not cleaned in Brazil !
    b) in HawaÀƒ¯, unless you demonstrate the contrary , crime rate is far far below than in Brazil.
    c) in HawaÀƒ¯, tourists are not highjacked in buses, not robbed, not assaulted…..not killed, and not horribly massacred and cut in pieces.
    But in Brazil they are.
    d)- it is not a change in the Minister of Tourism that will reduce your crime rate…..in my view. Thus believing tourism will increase is probably …..DEAD WRONG ! And the best anti tourism advertising you can do….is continue the way foreigners have been treated.
    It is published ALL over the world medias…FREE OF CHARGES !
    – what few of you know, is that despite what you read on your tourism “prowess”, your tourism account is in deficit. Meaning Brazilians spend more abroad, than foreigners spend in Brazil. In a way it is quite normal since going abroad becomes cheaper and cheaper (strong Real) for brazilians, but more expensive going to Brazil for foreigners ! When you add upm your crimes problems, and you get a reduction in incoming tourism.

    3) iNFRASTRUCTURE :
    You are probably right for the 60’s and 70’s…but since then where have been the infrastructure investments ? Very little…as you all know. And contrary to what you believe it was not due to lack of money. As you all know or should know Brazil nbr 1 problem is the
    maintenance costs of the governments employees salaries and their pensions. Surf the Net and you will find thousands of articles confirming you this.
    Then add up the world highest interest rates after inflation, even today after 15 cuts, and that eats in the budget too !
    Again add up the corruptions at all levels that siphons the budget, and then very little is left for infrastructure, education and healthcare.

    Conclusion : Brazil is not a miracle economy but a mirage economy ! In Latam your economy is the second worst after HaÀƒ¯ti.
    In the sphere of developing countries, Brazil is simply LAST. Meaning IMPOSSIBLE to be ranked WORSE than your actual ranking…by definition !!!!!
    And your Lula promises for 5 % economic growth rate, is simply a repeated promise but not delivered.
    Reality being that Lula never delivered 1 of his promises not even in his fight against corruption.

    During the vote buying scandal, did he not say…IMPUNITY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED ? Of course….he did say it !
    End result : almost every one found guilty by the investigators, found guilty by the Ethics Committee of your House, has been pardoned
    in a secret vote, by their peers as much corrupted as the ones they pardoned.

    So disgusting that almost all investigators….. SIMPLY .RESIGNED !!!!!

  • Jamie2

    [quote]Please do study a little more about the evolution of the Brazilian economy in the late 60À‚´s,70À‚´s and early 80À‚´s. We did build up a good infraestructure.[/quote]

    AH, the Brazilian Miricle under the dictatorship. Boms tempos…… 😉

  • João da Silva

    To:AES/The time is now
    With the Real at R$2.06 it is time to ercise the power of the currency to purchase (without duty) generators, drills, heavy machinery, scientific equipment, the things that lead to the constructon of infrastructure. Exercise the power of the value of the Real in the global economy.

    Do you think that we should buy the Chinese made junk with 33% off?. How long have you been in this country?. We used to and still make generators, drilling equipment,heavy machinery,etc; of good quality. We also have excellent engineers. But the problem is right now no Brazilian industry can survive with such heavy taxations, antiquated labor laws and corrupt polticos.

    AES, I think you are a new comer to this country.Please do study a little more about the evolution of the Brazilian economy in the late 60À‚´s,70À‚´s and early 80À‚´s. We did build up a good infraestructure.It was very slow and painstaking.But the world changed and with the globalization, we trust more in the “quality” products made in PRC. We export raw material to them and they export cheap goods to us.It is a perfect arrangement.

    BTW, being an American, you must have observed how hard it is to buy “Made in U.S.A” products in the departmental stores in your country.

  • your teacher

    Ric, just a little more plurarity goes a long way
    Hey Ric pull your red white and blue color lenses off your ass and try to see the world the way it really isÀ¢€¦multicolor!!!

  • jc

    I would certaily vote for you aes !!!
    Now that is polished brilliancy!!!
    Keep up the interesting comments!!!

  • aes

    The time is now
    With the Real at R$2.06 it is time to ercise the power of the currency to purchase (without duty) generators, drills, heavy machinery, scientific equipment, the things that lead to the constructon of infrastructure. Exercise the power of the value of the Real in the global economy. It is such an opportunity everything is on sale in the world for 33% off. This is when you invest in capital goods, this is when the government encourages business through facilitating important and export. The time is now the opportunity is now.

    And as to the new Minister of Tourism. Brazi like Hawaii is a tourist based economy, at least it comprises a profound sector of the economy. It is self evident that from Copacabana to Leblon the City must be secured. In Waikiki there are central police offices on the beach itself. Hawaiian police patrol every block in Waikiki. There is little crime in Waikiki. It is the juglar of the state’s economy as Rio is. The cost of implementation of police programs is infinetly less then the consequential economic benefit.

  • João da Silva

    To:Ric/Heartwarming story
    The entire story or just that of Franklin Martins?

  • Ric

    Heartwarming story.

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