Politics in Brazil
Tuesday, November 5th, 2019
President Jair Bolsonaro: Onyx Lorenzoni, Chief Minister of the Civil House of the Presidency of the Republic (Chief of Staff); Sérgio Moro, Minister of State for Justice and Public Security; Ernesto Araújo, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Paulo Guedes, Minister of State for the Finance; Jorge Antonio de Oliveira Francisco, Chief Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic; and Luiz Eduardo Ramos, Chief Minister of the Secretariat of Government of the Presidency of the Republic at 9am. 22nd Meeting of the Governing Council at 2:30pm. Solemnity of the 300 days of Government at 5pm.
Minister Ernesto Araújo: Order with the President of the Republic at 9:45am. Governing Council meeting at 2:30pm. Solemnity Allusive to the 300 days of Government at 5pm.
Political crises give new role to military in Latin America (November 5th)
In recent months, Latin America has again witnessed a common scene in the past: presidents in front of the TV, speaking to the nation in a time of crisis, surrounded by generals. In Ecuador, the military stood behind President Lenin Moreno when he announced a state of emergency. A few days later, Chilean Sebastián Piñera did the same with a dozen officers at his side.
Chile and Ecuador, shaken by demonstrations, also mobilized troops in the streets - a shocking decision in a region that has worked hard to abandon its history of military dictatorships. In Peru, in October, President Martín Vizcarra appeared alongside military officials to declare that he would not surrender to pressure from the opposition-led Congress to cede power.
Recently, in Bolivia, in the midst of a disputed election, Evo Morales made a speech to the military asking them to “secure the national territory” and maintain the political unity of the country.
Analysts say this is not a return of the military to power, as in Cold War dictatorships. Instead, growing dissatisfaction with the status quo and worsening political instability expose a contradiction in Latin American democracy.
Their military withdrew from politics after the Cold War, but retained immense influence. Because civilian institutions have remained weak, presidents sometimes rely on the military to reinforce their own legitimacy. The informal pact has worked, but growing unrest and instability are leading presidents to call on their military more often, more visibly and at increasingly tense times.
"It's a very dangerous game," said Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, a political scientist at the University of Notre Dame. “If all presidents need to do this to survive, a new politicization of the military will be inevitable.”
In Chile, which was once another day of clashes between security forces and protesters, the use of troops on the streets has led to deaths and revived traumatic memories. John Polga-Hecimovich of the US Naval Academy says the peacetime generals "needed a reason to exist and justify their budgets in a region that doesn't really engage in interstate wars."
Civil and military leaders have reached an agreement that Rut Diamint, a political scientist at Torcuato Di Tella University in Argentina, called "new militarism." "The generals, instead of opposing democratic rulers, have returned to the center of the political sphere as allies," said Diamint.
Civil leaders have given the military the task of policing, managing large and small infrastructure projects, presenting themselves as partners of the Armed Forces, which in many Latin countries have higher approval ratings than all institutions except the Church.
Latin American democracy consolidated between 1990 and 2000, but in times of crisis, its leaders developed a habit of hiding behind generals. The left-wing presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua have presented themselves as leaders of a revolutionary vanguard besieged by enemies. Right-wing presidents in Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil responded to the rise in crime by holding up their military as strongholds of virtue and security.
The result, according to Javier Corrales, political scientist at Amherst College, is the constant "militarization of democracies." The global crisis of the democratic state coincides with frustration with inequality and corruption, which remain problematic in Latin America.
As a result, faith in democratic institutions has declined in the region. Political polarization has increased, deepening the sense of many citizens that the political system is imperfect. In much of the world, including Chile, this has contributed to a sense of collective anger and a belief that only mass uprisings can bring about real change.
South Korea studies expansion of partnerships with Paraná (November 5th):
Deputy Governor Darci Piana received on Friday (01), at the Iguazu Palace, the South Korean ambassador, Chan-Woo Kim, with whom he talked about the expansion of trade relations and support for infrastructure projects in Paraná. According to the ambassador, the free trade agreement with Mercosur, which should be signed next year, will increase the interest of companies and the South Korean government to invest in Brazil and especially in Paraná.
Piana presented the investment plans for the coming years, involving highways, railways, airports. "We already have 2,500 kilometers of duplicate highways and we will bid another 1,600 next year," he said.
The deputy governor highlighted the state's position as the largest poultry producer in Latin America, the second in pork slaughter in the country and the handling in the port of Paranaguá, which is the largest soy exporter in the country. "We have to give logistical support to all this production volume and we can not rely only on state resources," he said.
STRATEGIC - For the ambassador, the strategic location and easy access to the large markets that Paraná offers are factors that increase the interest in investments in the state. In addition to infrastructure, Chan-Woo Kim also indicated the possibility of partnerships in renewable energy and other environmental projects.
TRADE - According to the ambassador, with the free trade agreement, South Korea should increase chicken imports from Paraná, the main item purchased by the country. From January to September, Paraná chicken sales to the country reached R $ 85 million, followed by soybean meal, with R $ 74 million.
In total, Parana's exports to South Korea totaled R $ 233 million in the period against R $ 64 million in imports.
Brazilian National Day
September 7 raises spending on embassies (November 5th)
The Foreign Ministry has increased by 40% spending on festivities and celebrations in Brazil's embassies and consulates in September compared to the same month in 2018. The disbursement jumped from R$ 415,000 to R$ 579,000 - in values adjusted by the IPCA (Broad National Consumer Price Index). The government is waging a communications battle abroad and, seeking to improve its image, has elected September 7 as an emblematic holiday. In London, the event was attended by the President of the Supreme Court, Dias Toffoli, and spending in the month was the highest: R$ 138,000. According to the embassy, 57% of this amount, R$ 78,500, went to the Personality of the Year event, which takes place 21 years ago.
The survey was made by the NGO Conta Contas Abertas with official data, at the request of the Column . The spending in September at the embassy of Buenos Aires was R$ 29,000, after an August without spending on celebrations. In The Hague, R$ 31,500 compared to R$ 8,500.
In Washington, where Eduardo Bolsonaro was even quoted to be ambassador, the regime was “Spartan”: just spending, R$ 4,300 on parties.
According to the embassy, the reason for the low cost is that the September 7 event was organized at the headquarters of the Organization of American States and the costs were shared with the Brazilian mission to the OAS and the Brazilian Consulate General in Washington.
Despite the increase in spending, Itamaraty officially says that "no additional spending was allowed in 2019 for September 7 parties at Brazilian representations abroad."