Boa sorte, Brasil

We’ve been tempted to write about the rocky Presidential election in Brazil, but have held back due to how volatile it has been. One day a candidate dies in a plane crash, then we’re looking at an environmental activist and former housemaid being elected, and the next day we’re tempted to crow about sensible Aécio Neves as a sure-fire winner.capa-veja-23.10

This matters to us. A victory for Brazil’s opposition this coming Sunday would have enormous effects on regional politics, and Venezuela would lose a close and important ally in Rousseff and her party, the PT. Brazil provides Venezuela with important diplomatic backing, and Brazilian companies are knee-deep in business with Venezuela’s kleptocrats. It is not far-fetched to say that, putting rhetoric and ideological closeness aside, Brazil is Venezuela’s most important ally outside of Cuba.

Obviously, we at Caracas Chronicles hope Neves pulls out a win. That, however, is looking more and more like a pipe dream. The fact of the matter is that President Dilma Rousseff, a close ally of Nicolás Maduro, is favored to win. Late opinion polls have her opening a lead over Neves. This is not surprising.

As our friend Javier Corrales has written, it is practically impossible in Latin America for an incumbent to lose an election. Rousseff may scratch out an ugly, close, faint-inducing win, just like Juan Manuel Santos did in Colombia, but a win is a win.

Still, the election has been exciting to watch, The latest twist has come from serious allegations of corruption in state-owned companies, and even soccer star Neymar made a last-minute video endorsing Neves.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but … it’s sadly looking like Maduro will breathe easy come Sunday night. This article from another friend, Bloomberg’s Charlie Devereaux, puts it in context. The ponto alto:

“For Brazilian food companies, there isn’t that much delay in getting paid,” Portela said, adding that exports to Venezuela will total about $4.8 billion this year. “A big chunk of the imports is even paid in advance. Only about 15 percent of importers have payment arrears of over a year.”

Neves criticized Rousseff’s Venezuela policy, saying she ignored “flagrant repression” by President Nicolas Maduro’s government during street protests earlier this year that left at least 43 people dead.

20 thoughts on “Boa sorte, Brasil

  1. And to think I was called a reactionary in this blog a few years ago for pointing out exactly what Lula, Dilma and the PT were, a Mafia. A dictatorship-supporting Mafia.

    Aécio, a social democrat, is not my ideal candidate, but compared to Dilma he’s Ronaldo Reagã. Dilma’s campaign has resorted to every dirty trick in the book, including delaying the release on poverty numbers until after the ballotage and massive sms messages saying Aécio would eliminate social programs like Bolsa Familia, which was created during Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s government, not Lula’s. This nine-finger bastard, by the way, asked the audience during a mitin what was Aécio doing while Dilma was jailed for “fighting for freedom against a dictatorship”, when she was 22. Aécio was 7 years old, and Dilma was fighting to replace a military dictatorship with a communist dictatorship.


    • Nobody can predict what is going to happen tomorrow with the candidates. But for sure we all know that either Sensus and Veritas in one side and Datafolha,Ibope and Vox Populi in the other side will be out of business as of monday. The differences in percentages are quite impressive. This election has been so boring, so low level from both sides that I am now more curious to hear the explanations from each of the companies regarding their methodologies and why such huge failure than to bet in one candidate. I am a former PSDB member who long ago even contributed – time and money – to Fernando Henrique’s and Mario Covas’ campaign. Later on decided to vote for Lula. Both sides are deeply corrupt as broad evidences demonstrate. Difference is that the PSDB guys are more sophisticated, MBA’s, bankers, etc and can manage their stealing in a professional way. Nobody ever heard of a PSDB guy carrying dollars under their underwear as did PT guys. Brazil is now as divided as Venezuela, although it looks like Venezuela is more and more leaning to the opposition side. For Ptismo and Chavismo, it may as well be that the initial intentions were right, healthy. However, money talks and talks loudly! Boligarcas in Venezuela and PT and their allies in Brazil (PMDB and PP) betrayed their voters. PSDB did it before, with different methodologies. From what I read about Venezuela, it looks like the picture before Chaves was not a great one as well. I only wish I can put this skepticism aside before voting tomorrow. I also wish that we LatinAmericans find a way out of this everlasting one step ahead and 2 steps backwards procession.


      • So, the common denominator on all sides of the political spectrum, not just in Brazil, is corruption with little or no oversight, with little or no rule of law. That’s how piglets who refuse to be weaned, and their mom, get away with stealing in Latam. Helping the unscrupulous is a too-light focus on critical thinking in education — at ALL levels and a too-heavy dose of magical realism. Voilà: the dance that takes you one step forward and two steps backwards.


      • You sound confused, Charles. The flip-flopping between parties proves that.

        ‘For Ptismo and Chavismo, it may as well be that the initial intentions were right, healthy’

        Have you ever heard about ‘Foro de São Paulo’? Since 1990 those guys are saying that they ‘would conquer in South America everything they had lost in Eastern Europe.’. You don’t have to trust me, just use Google.

        ‘Both sides are deeply corrupt as broad evidences demonstrate. Difference is that the PSDB guys are more sophisticated, MBA’s, bankers, etc and can manage their stealing in a professional way. ‘

        hahahahah! That part borders on humor. You can’t really believe that, can you? It’s kinda cute that you found a fairly sophisticated way of sparing PT from being the most corrupt party we have ever had: “PSDB does too, we just can’t find much because they are smarter”. LOL!

        Are you going to vote for Dilma? Would you vote for Maduro too? If yes, why do you visit Caracas Chronicles?

        And this is not about corruption, this is about democracy. If Dilma wins, democracy will be dead for good.


        • Marc, I would expect a more respectful and high level comment from you. Like most people in Brasil, you have got overly emotional. Are you still talking about Foro de São Paulo and eastern europe? I guess you will now introduce the dangers of the Soviet Union and Mao as well. You seem to live in a kind of island (Ipanema, Leblon, Vila Nova Conceição, Morumbi) and also seem to register only information that suits your preferences. By the way, I live at Vila Nova Conceição but try not to be as alienated and selfish as most of my neighbours.

          hahahahah! That part borders on humor. You can’t really believe that, can you? – is it how you exchange views, trying to place other people’s comments as humor ? I am not sparring anyone, I am just well informed about ALL bad things (and also the few good ones) that happen in this country. May you have not read my post or get too excited when you identified someone not subscribing entirely to what you would expect and, as it is usual here in Brasil, just started to display your “politeness”. I was for many years a FORMAL (tre registered) member of PSDB. Were you? I worked inside the party for FHC and Covas campaigns. Did you? I know the inner workings of the party. Do you? Are you informed about the major PSDB corruption scandals, in Minas Gerais and São Paulo? Certainly not. Corruption is worth this name when the other guys are involved. When your guys are involved, it is certainly work of the “Communists” propaganda. Gimme a break! Get Real! Go around and expand your readings and understanding of the brazilian scenario.May you have not noticed it but the cold war is over. The world is not black and white anylonger. Gray has come onboard.

          No, definitively I would not vote for Maduro. I even mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that I believe that Maduro must have some cognition problem. He does not seem to grasp reality. Not to mention that PSUV has become the heaven of boligarchs, just like large part of PT’s senior leadership. But this is well a informed standing, product of someone who traveled about 10 times to Venezuela in the last 11 years, not only to Caracas but also to other places (Maracaibo, Valencia, etc), and even traveled by road once from Caracas to Boa Vista. Someone who has friends living in Altamira, Las Mercedes, who visits Sambil and other consumption temples but also has friends living in Catia and 23 de enero. You have been writing in this blog displaying such strong opinions but, as I surprisingly learnt through one of your recent posts, has never visited Venezuela. May be the same happens regarding your opinions regarding brazilian issues. You get stuck in your privileged neighborhood and take the arrogant conclusion that you own the truth. I guess that the only source of information that is acceptable is the one that you approve and everything else is “communist” or from Cuba. Grow up man! Get yourself better acquainted with the broad picture.

          By the way, I visit Caracas Chronicles regularly because it is a great blog, with solid and consistent analysis of the Venezuelan political and economic scenario, with posts by qualified bloggers with whom I have learnt a lot and benefitted tremendously, such as Nagel, Quico, Kepler and several others. And also because discussions are held in high level, with respect. We brazilians should learn with them. Very unfortunately I have not found a similar blog in Brazil.


  2. It is going to be a very interesting election on Sunday here in Brazil. Even that there is nothing in comparison with the euphoria in Venezuela pre-election days, people (mostly middle class) is in panic looking at the polls war that are also known for not being very accurate when compared with end results (5-8% difference was reported by O Globo the Monday after 1st round) There is a big war going on now last day of campaign!

    It has been a dirty campaign and plenty of propaganda going on in both directions, Lula hands are everywhere….From supported Dilma to being a target for scandals,.. Tonight is the last debate so you should try to attend online, previous ones where like a “Vale Tudo UF” fight full of accusations and provocations… I can ensure you our beloved country/regime will be mention as it is present in most discussions about where Brazil is heading if Dilma wins (People discuss about if it will be Argentina or Venezuela direction…) In my opinion Argentina is like Venezuela some years back (I just visited BA and felt the same as in Caracas 2-3 yrs ago… strange sensation listening to people in Argentina pointing Venezuela bad influence…) and Brazil has all the symptoms to get worst that is is and go to recession if they do not turn the wheel and change as the last Article from The Economist pointed and everyone is alerting for some time already. What is interesting is that Brazilians (WorldCup euphoria times) where looking at Argentina and Venezuela problems above the shoulder and very shy in criticizing the HR violations or not even wanting to know too much. Now they lost at home A Copa do Mundo and woke up with the hungover thinks are different and they are looking a loot more to the neighbors and are in panic… I always heard everywhere before the Cup that the only way Dilma was going to be re-erected was if Brazil wins the World Cup now let see the results on Sunday.

    Time will tell and I believe our compatriotas should be more concerned with the results of this election as it has the potential to change or keep our region dynamics for the next 5 years… I think Aecio has a chance if he can sharp tonight… let see…


    • Good comment, AP. But I didn’t really get this part: “Even that there is nothing in comparison with the euphoria in Venezuela pre-election days”. Is this good or bad? Could you please elaborate a bit more on it? Ty


      • Marc I mean the street euphoria of the money the elections in Venezuela bring… If you have been in Caracas or Maracaibo or any other city in Venezuela during election times you may recall not only posts and propaganda but money everywhere; people buying, drinking, music festivals,… Here in Brazil election is more like an obligation (election is mandatory in Brazil) so not much fun…


    • Well, Juancito?

      you have problems with people who actually work for their living?

      Like, those who might have to get their hands dirty waiting on you and your ilk.

      I have difficulty in appreciating your casual sneer about housemaids. Or, by extension, anyone who actually had to earn a living outside the airless bubble of Chacao or Vitacura. You cunt. You made up the quote about housemaids, it wasn’t anywhere to be found in the article you referenced. Not house nor maid. Marina Silva’s origins are humble, yes. I would celebrate her, She is worth thousands of you.

      Goddamit to hell. You could have done so much better. Chacao so much more. Venezuela deserves so much better than you. You cunt.


  3. Sorry, but even with Aecio, a change in Brazilian Foreign policy will not be that big..more like a slow-pace process of change


  4. If you are getting $5B a year from Venezuela, do you really think they will start challenging our internal politics? If so, the biggest action will be a slap in the hands and nothing else. It is no easy to let go that much money. Ademas, we owe Odebreacht almost $7B and they do have influence over anyone governing Brazil.


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