US Ultimatum to Brazil: Get Rid of Piracy or Else

Piracy of CDs and movies, a big problem in BrazilThe United States gave Brazil a deadline: the country has 6 months to combat illegal production of CDs, videos and the like. After this the US will start applying commercial fines.

Despite the fact that many have read the news as an arrogant and unfriendly ultimatum, Brazil is busy at work. A commission is being created to deal with the problem, which is much bigger than the selling in the streets.

Action is needed in several instances, including the reduction of price of certain goods, which would make it less of a target for illegal copies. The deadline went to Brazil, but it should apply everywhere, including on the streets of New York City.

Condoleezza, VIP Indeed

As a result of the meeting she had with Minister José Dirceu, Condoleezza Rice went to Brazil on April 26. The preparations to receive the most powerful woman in the world was dramatic, to say the least.

Up to 20 employees of the United States Embassy were seen camping at the Blue Tree Park Hotel in Brasília, where Ms. Rice stayed, preparing for her arrival.

Rice asked Lula for two things and was denied both. The US wanted Lula to have a talk with Venezuela Chávez to convince him to stop aggravating the White House. Sorry, but can’t do it – Lula organized a group called friends of Venezuela and Petrobras is doing excellent business in the oil fields.

The other no for Condoleezza was when she asked Lula to allow American observers during the meeting of leaders of South American and Arab countries. Sorry again.

34 countries, 24 of which Arab national, met in Brasília to discuss their commercial possibilities and political afinities. It is strong.

In Colombia, the next day, Condy made strong statements on the Venezuela affair. If the US decide to go strong on Venezuela, will Brazil have to make a decision? Or as they say in Brazil, business is business, friendship aside?…

The Brazilian government will have a lot of diplomatic work ahead to keep its own interests and to keep in good terms with the US and the rest of the world. All at the same time.

No Visa

During Mercosur’s top leaders meeting in historical Ouro Preto, Brazil, earlier this year, Peru’s president Alejandro Toledo said all Latin countries should be partners.

He went on to say that Peru is not only referring to commercial relations, but it feels contaminated by an optimism of integration among all Latin countries in America.

Toledo said Peru attended the meeting for reasons other than commercial, because this would not even be good business for Peru at the moment.

The President made clear for all that Peru’s presence was a statement for the future, referring to the physical integration and infrastructure investments towards uniting the countries.

Toledo affirmed that it was important that people from the countries united in the block and associates, could go back and forth without visas or even passports, taking away unnecessary paper work.

Misery Doesn’t Sell

Brazil year in France is already showing results. The Brazilian chain of super-markets Pão de Açúcar launches a partnership agreement with French chain Casino, starting this coming June.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was present at the moment of the announcement. He made a speech and seemed very happy with the repercussion of Brazil in France and all over Europe, with the growing interest in all things Brazilian.

Lula was applauded with enthusiasm when he said that “Brazil may continue calling itself a poor country, or a third world country, or even a country of illiteracy, because one may choose any words one wishes but one must keep in kind that selling misery does not absolutely help anyone to get rid of misery.”

Globo More Global

Globo Network.TV, Brazilian’s number 1 and the world’s 4, is going to be bigger. Ricardo Scalamandré, the net’s director of international business, met with producers from all over the globe in Cannes.

Globo is discussing serious business with TVs in Russia, France, Germany, Romania and Spain. The idea is to start a co-production that involves making shows that might not even be shown in Brazil. Just using the network know-how.

Reinvesting Every Penny

Antônio Ermírio de Moraes of Votorantim group, one of the biggest entrepreneurs in Brazil, recently told the press that Brazilian entrepreneurs are going to throw every cent back into production.

According to him, not a cent will be saved, every single penny will be used to increase production, because they now believe more and more in Brazil and the growth and stability of the economy. Antônio Ermírio constitutes strong leadership in Brazil.

Drops

* The New York Times is producing a story on Brazilian food, concentrating on appetizers.They are going all over the country. Extra pounds expected among the crew.

* Tokyo Marine announced it has bought Banco Real’s Insurance company for R$ 500 milllion. This is only the beginning of heavy Japanese investing in Brazil.

* Brazilian filmmaker Luiz Carlos Barreto is having 16 of his movies exhibited in 18 cities, starting in Paris. In the catalogue, Costa-Gavras writes that Barreto produced over 75 films, all expressions of “passions for his country, Brazil.”

* Cachaça 51 is being exported to Russia.The caipirinha now is to compete with the vodka. It is the 39th country conquered by the sugar cane liquor.

* When Brazil’s Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, invited Sharon Stone earlier this year in Davos to go to Brazil for the International Forum of the Creative Industry (films, shows and the like), many thought she was just being pleasant when she smiled and said yes. Wrong. Sharon Stone did go to the forum in Salvador, Bahia, on April 19. And crossed her legs hundreds of times.

* The Brazilian “Tainá 2” was the best film of BamKids Film Festival in Brooklyn.

* Leaders of the National Brazilian Association of Hospitality Industry met with Congress’ President, Severino Cavalcanti, to ask to speed up the process of Law 2430/03, written by Senator Carlos Eduardo Cadoca, from Recife, proposing the end of visa for American tourists.

* Meanwhile, at the American Consulate in Recife, a 22-year-old student of Psychology was denied a tourist visa and told by the officer to “get older before you visit N.Y.” Now you get scolded?

Clara Angelica Porto is a Brazilian bilingual journalist living in New York. She went to school in Brazil and at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Clara is presently working as the English writer for The Brasilians, a monthly newspaper in Manhattan. She is also the Marketing Coordinator for Brazilian Day in New York. Of herself, she says “Words have been the most important part of my professional life. Either written or spoken. And I don’t have an accent when I write…” Comments welcome at clara.angelica@gmail.com.

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