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Lula vs FHC revisited

 
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 06:47 pm
Cold war. State security. "Our" SOBs.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 06:50 pm
Leave their mummies alone!
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 05:51 pm
Yes. Promised to post this when Craven would restart this topic, but I only saw this thread now. Translated it from the French (so any language mistakes are mine). Didnt get around to translating the full article in the end.

Quote:
In Brazil, Luiz Inacio da Silva passes the 100-day mark while retaining his popularity

LE MONDE
Article appeared in the edition of 12.04.03

By Jean-Jacques Sévilla

Going on an opinion poll published on Wednesday 9 april, by the daily Folha de Sao Paulo, president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva retains [..] a capital of popularity unparallelled since the re-establishment, in 1989, [..] of universal suffrage for the elections of the highest authority. "Reasonable" to 40% of those questioned, "good or very good" to a further 43% of them: the achievement is all the more remarkable since the official unemployment rate has risen from 10,5% to 11,6% [..]

However, and that is what the Brazilians remember, the economy has survived the black predictions of George Soros about the imminence of a moratory on public debt, and it continues to surprise the prophets of bad omens by rebounding even in face of the Iraqi crisis.

A cardinal indication of the improvement of the main macro-economic indications, the dollar, that did about 4 reals in december 2002, these last few days has been exchanged for 3,20 reals. As for risque-pays, it just passed underneath the bar of 1,000 points again, after having topped at 2,400 points in September 2002. "The world believes in Brazil anew", Lula trumpeted in a televised speech [..] Brazilian banks and companies have already lifted 6 billion dollars in loans, this year, despite the war in Iraq.

"The shock of credibility has made its effect", is the analysis of Raymundo Magliano, president of the Sao Paulo stock exchange (Bovespa) [..] The accounts of Bovespa, showing a positive balance of 300 million dollars in foreign investments in the first three months, show that the mistrust of the investors vis-a-vis the former trade union leader has considerably weakened. The government has certainly shown evidence of fiscal responsibility in committing itself towards the IMF to increase its primary budget surplus from 3,75% to 4,25% in 2003. [..]

Director of international relations at the Federation of Industries of the state ofg Sao Paulo, Maurice Costin is a spokesman for the employers when he salutes the "sane, calm and orthodox" politics implemented by the economic team. [..] "It's true that one sometimes has to exaggerate in order to convince". [..]
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 05:56 pm
dlowan wrote:
I had understood the USA to teach torture - from some special ops sort of group - but I have forgotten why I believe this.


I think in most cases it was simply expats making money how they knew to. Since US special op forces are well regarded (in terms of expertise) it is easy for American ex-military to get jobs in Latin America in consultuing, training and as bodyguards.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 05:58 pm
Now - I had read somewhere of an official US special ops and torture school - that trained foreign nationals currently in favour as well as US personnel - damned if I can remember where, though...
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:00 pm
So - NIMH or Craven or Fbaezer - what was the exchange rate of the real before Lula-fear began - what is it now?
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:07 pm
dlowan wrote:
Now - I had read somewhere of an official US special ops and torture school - that trained foreign nationals currently in favour as well as US personnel - damned if I can remember where, though...


Yeh, me too - in Reagan-times, there was an 'institution of instruction' in the US where students from Central-American countries that were then dictatorships were taught law and order techniques, say. Generally considered a university of state terror. But like you, I'm talking from the top of my head now, by heart - would have to go (re)browsing the net to find the info back.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:22 pm
dlowan wrote:
So - NIMH or Craven or Fbaezer - what was the exchange rate of the real before Lula-fear began - what is it now?


It's hard to pinpoint when the Lula fear began, and a few of FHC's own moves weakened the Real.

The fear started when people realized that FHC could not be re-elected, the fear took hold in earnest because Lula (the anti-thesis to FHC) was rising in polls and te number 2 was even worse.

I can't pin point the Lula effect on the Real for you. FHC unpegged the currency and that was what took it from 1.20-2.70. Then there was 9/11, then there was the simple fact that elections were looming, ultimately it was that the polls showed a political about face.

That's about as fair as I can state it. There were 2 long standing issues that hurt the Real and Lula was a third. I will not try to quantify Lula's effect on the Real but will say that the rise in the price of the cesta basica (basic basket, beans rice oil etc) and the price of bread rose with him.

More in a bit.
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mamajuana
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 09:42 pm
If I remember old South American history, there were torture techiniques from the ancients that were very effective. And there were many nasty nazi types who came to South America, too.

Americans seemed to have gained a reputation in this respect, however.

I have been puzzled for many years over the fact that we, in the North American part, just seem to ignore and forget that there are other parts to the hemisphere. We were paying attention to Mexico for a while (until Bush forgot who they were), and we fomented quite a bit of trouble in Central America, but South America just seems to lie there. There is Lula, and Menem is out, and we should be paying more attention to Chile....oh well.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 09:59 pm
The exchange rate for the real plummeted nearly 40 % in the Big Lula Scare.
The comeback is part of the rocky ride of the Brazilian currency since they left the "band system" in 2001.
Some Latin American currencies have strengthened since the Iraq war. Capital is flowing to the region. The probable reason is that Latin America is not among the US top political interests: it's a region with relative stability, (compared to Asia, mostly).

---

A few precisions about torturers:

Big time for US trained torturers in Latin America was not the "Reagan times", but the 60s and 70s: the cold war- Marxist guerrilla combination.
The "torture capitals" were not in Central America, but in South America:
Brazil: famous for physical "scientific" torture.
Argentina: famous for psychological torture, and for the "desaparecidos": people whose whereabouts are forever lost, many of them thrown to the sea from helicopters on the infamous "wednesday holidays".
Chile: A combination of both "schools" during the Pinochet regime.
Uruguay: Brazilian "school", harsh during the early seventies.

The Latin American left has always accused the CIA of promoting torture in the subcontinent. It's a widespread belief, but I don't know of any factual proof.

The alleged "school for torturers" is the School of the Americas, in the Canal Zone (Panama), until a few years ago, and Fort Bragg N.C, where Latin American officers were trained by US personnel. In any case, it wasn't the torturers, but their commanders, who were trained there.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2003 01:32 am
Thanks, Fbaezer - interesting on both subjects...be interesting to see what happens to the real.

Our currency is going up, too - oddly enough - not nearly back up to what it was in erly '97, before it plummeted just before i went to the states!
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2003 09:09 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
I can't pin point the Lula effect on the Real for you. FHC unpegged the currency and that was what took it from 1.20-2.70. Then there was 9/11, then there was the simple fact that elections were looming, ultimately it was that the polls showed a political about face.


The graph below ('how many Real go in a dollar') is adopted from the 'Foreign exchange graph' you can generate on any currency for any timespan at The Economist website. (It's a cool feature - see here.)

I tweaked the colours of the graph to show in bright green the period up to the election of Lula (including the election campaign), and in dark green the period since his election.

http://home.wanadoo.nl/anepiphany/images/real_exchange_rates.gif

Basically, like fbaezer said, the Real lost some 40% of its value in the five months before and during the election campaign, but it has regained some half of that since the elections; there thus seems to be a pattern in the rocky ride he mentions. It's made up at least for the damage of the immediate pre-election panic.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2003 02:03 pm
Oh, knowing how much the Real fell is a simple matter of looking it up. While I'd love to ascribe all of the fall to Lula I do not believe that is fair. The trepidation about the elections preceeded Lula's emergence as a major player. 9/11 and the unpegging had a lot to do with it as well. In short I don't blame Lula for all of it. I despise that he actually used the fall of the Real (which he had a part n) to campaign off of to the very uneducated. I'll explain later.



I'll be translating some texts and will be back. The server move etc made me forget this topic.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 May, 2003 07:01 pm
Ok, I have been busy but I did one quick translation. Some things were not possible to translate literally and I did not want to make any alterations that could be subjective. So a few sentences were left out.

An email circulating in Brazil wrote:
There are 2 Lula candidates for president. Which one do you plan to vote for.


1) Lula in favor of property rights:

"You have your land and you produce, know that a PT (workers party) government will not tolerate the disrespect of your property". (Veja - April 2002)

Or for the Lula in favore of land invasions:

"Where there is empty land the worker without abode should invade." (Veja Magazine, May / 1989)

2) Lula ally of Quércia, PL and Sarney:

"If the people of São Paulo are intelligent they will vote for Quércia". (Congresso da Confederação das Mulheres do Brasil, 15/Sept/2002, SP)

Or the Lula of opposition: "I will not give up the divergences(disagreements) I have with Quércia. The PT will not make an alliance with him." (Época Magazine - Janeiro de 2002)

3) Lula in favor of teh Consitution:

"Look, Brazil is a country that has a constitution, a country whose democracy is consolidating." (CBN, 24/May/2001)

Or the Lula that voted against the constitution in 1988:

"The 3rd Constitution was approved by 474 votes in favor and 15 votes against it, all from the PT. Lula, announced that the party voted against the approval of the constitution because of agricultural reform, the maintenance of the military guardianship and the privilideges of the dominant classes". (Jornal do Brasil, 23/09/1988)

4) Lula who promises to create millions of jobs:

"I reaffirm what I have said since the beginning of this campaign: we will create 10 million jobs" (Globo On Line, 31/ Ago/2002)

Or the Lula who takes it back: "When I launched my government program, we did not promise an exact number of jobs" (Globo On Line 11/Set/2002)

5) Lula who defends Congress:

The more we criticize congress, the more we have to understand that the Congress elected on October 6th is the spitting image (translation creativity here, literally it said "is the face of" but the idiom I use is as close as it gets) of the political conscience of our people on the day of their vote.As much as you dislike a member of the house of representatives, he is there because he respresents a segment of society and needs to be respected. (O Globo 28/Set/2002)

Or the Lula that criticizes congress:

"I think Congress does not well represent Brazilian society. Many people vote only because it's obligatory. Congress has a ficticious plot". (O Globo, 10/Aug/1999)

6) Lula who praises the military regime:
"From a strategic view point the military (he is referring to the military dictatorship) thought of Brazil. They distributed income, they left debt but they thought". (Jornal da Tarde, 31/Ago/2002)

Or the Lula against the dictatorship?

(comment made explaning his reversal "I am a species of ongoing metamorphosis"
(Lula, Revista Veja, Outubro de 2001)

Is that change what you want?
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2003 05:28 am
Listening...
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2003 01:23 pm
Ok, here's a short one:

One of my problems with Lula is that he was not elected to be the "sane" Lula in the above quote.

Is was elected to be the "insane" unconstitutional Mugabe-esque Lula.

More on this later...
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2003 04:48 pm
Huh? Are you saying that the platform he was elected on was the "insane" one?

The contradictions mentioned in the emails so far, while reasonably extreme, could probably be matched over the same time span by many Oz and Brit politicians - not sure about US ones - there seems to be less of an ideological range to cover in the US.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2003 05:59 pm
His platform played both against the middle. He preached sanity to the upper classes and tried to be moderate to slow the Real's fall. To the poor he pointed at the fact that the cost of bread was increasing (which was, in part, due to the fall of the Real he was helping along) to say that the incumbents were making their lives worse.

It's important to remember that elections in Brazil are mandatory and that the overwhelming majority of the votes are from people who are nearlu illiterate (Brazil has more advanced electronic balloting systems than the US because many voters can't read, let alone do the butterfly ballot thing).

People involved in the Brazilian markets saw Argentina go to ruins and worried greatly about contagion (remember, many American businessmen who go to Brazil think Buenos Aires is in Brazil, so much so that this is part of Brazilian folklore). The concern is valid, the first world tends to lump Latin America into one group. US presidents have visited Brazil and reffered to the wrong people and the wrong country (I don't remember which country but I believe it was Bolivia, a US president went to Brazil and talked about how great this "Bolivia" and the "Bolivians" are).

So they were worried that the risk accessment would suffer simply due to contagion and igorance. They wanted caution.

The masses wanted change. They were restless and when Lula the radical ran he was embraced.

It's very important to note that the people who supported Lula in Brazil, were, in large part, supporting his "crazy" stuff. They were not saying "he is moderated himself" they were saying that Lula, who had until then been a political joke, the clown who always loses but says the most extreme things, was suddenly just what they needed.

So what I'm saying is that he was elected out of impatience, his core supporters are the ones who think that invading rich people's land is a good idea. That Brazil should default on the debt, that the privatization of Brazil's behemoths was tantamount to "selling Brazil"....
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2003 06:07 pm
aha .....thankee.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2003 07:04 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
The masses wanted change. They were restless and when Lula the radical ran he was embraced.


What is your analysis of why the masses wanted such radical change?
0 Replies
 
 

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