Is Brazil Ready to Elect a Woman and Former Guerrilla for President?

    Rousseff in police documents

    Rousseff in police documentsIf economist Dilma Rousseff, former guerrilla and known for her strong character and work capacity, nominated by the ruling Workers Party, PT, to succeed the charismatic Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is victorious in Brazil’s 3 October presidential election the country might have an iron lady as its leader.

    Born in December 1947, of Bulgarian descent, Rousseff is Lula da Silva’s cabinet chief and undoubtedly the most influential of the president’s team, who personally handpicked her and has been her strongest promoter.

    Following some initial doubts, since she only joined PT in 1986, the party’s convention on Saturday firmly closed ranks behind her and lack of electoral experience is no longer an issue.

    Described as a workaholic she also has an “explosive” temper and is known to have humiliated both ministers and her staff in meetings and sometimes in public. Vice President Jose Alencar one of her strongest supporters admits she’s a “tough character”.

    However Lula argues that her efficiency in addressing administration issues and her political capacity convinced him she was the best name for the coming election.

    Last April, Dilma publicly admitted she had begun a chemotherapy treatment for a lymphatic cancer but by September doctors said she had completely recovered. Ms Rousseff celebrated saying she no longer needed a wig.

    The iron lady of Brazilian politics was brought up in an upper middle class family from Minas Gerais, strict Catholic education. She has a daughter Paula and besides economics likes to read about history and Greek mythology. Fond of opera she’s also considered an expert in Brazilian music

    As a student, during the military dictatorship (1964/1985) she belonged to clandestine armed groups, Colina, (National Liberation Command) and VAR Palmares, the Armed Revolutionary Vanguard Palmares, although there’s some controversy as to how much she was really involved and if she effectively participated in armed attacks.

    She went by the codename Stella. Arrested in São Paulo in 1970, she was sentenced to six years but by 1972 was out. Following her arrest and according to her confession she was repeatedly tortured to reveal names of other organization members.

    In the early eighties she helped found the Brazilian Labor Party, PDT, from the legendary leader Leonel Brizola, former governor of Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul and one of the excuses for the 1964 military coup.

    However in 1986 she joined Lula’s PT, but only came close to Lula in 2001 when he organized groups to elaborate government proposals for the 2002 election. She was specifically involved in the energy and power group.

    “Here comes this comrade with a small computer in her hands, we begun discussing and I realized there was something different in her. Then I thought to myself ‘I think I’ve found my Energy minister'” recalls Lula about their first meeting.

    Once elected president, Lula surprised everybody by naming Rousseff Energy minister whom he made responsible for reorganizing Brazil’s power system and modernizing the oil and gas sector.

    The corruption scandal of 2005 pulverized the PT leadership following the disclosure of a clandestine accounting system to pay Congress members a “monthly due” (“mensalão”) in support for the Lula administration legislative program.

    Lula then named her as cabinet chief and the first rumors about her possibilities of becoming the PT presidential candidate emerged in 2007, when Lula began traveling across Brazil with his cabinet chief next to him.

    According to Brazilian electoral law, Rousseff must abandon her post in Lula da Silva’s cabinet by April 3 when she will be fully involved in negotiations with ten potential allied parties most of them currently part of the ruling coalition, to agree on her ticket partner and a common program.

    Nominated

    As anticipated, the PT proclaimed on Saturday Rousseff as presidential candidate for the coming October 3 election.

    Ms. Rousseff currently stands, according to different public opinion polls, five to ten points behind the leading presidential hopeful and governor of São Paulo José Serra, from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, PSDB

    On Friday the convention approved a campaign platform which basically proposes the continuation of President Lula’s policies, mostly market friendly. But is also includes proposals to expand and strengthen the role of government corporations, taxing holders of large assets and increasing welfare programs for the needy and vulnerable.

    During the convention the three main guidelines for a possible administration of Ms. Rousseff if she finally wins and becomes Brazil’s first woman president, included the words “continuity”, “more social emphasis” and a “stronger state”.

    In the economic field the program proposes maintenance of a floating exchange rate, inflation control and strict fiscal discipline so ensure the stability of the past years enjoyed by Brazilians.

    Besides stronger government corporations the PT program will favor credit policies for the private sector to guarantee sustained economic growth, the creation of jobs and business profits.

    The slight leftist touch refers to taxing “wealth” and combating “the media monopolies”.

    “Under Lula da Silva social support plans have advanced as never before in Brazilian history, but under an administration of Ms. Rousseff more must be done”, said Patrus Ananias, Social Development and Hunger Combat minister addressing the 1.200 party delegates in Brasilia.

    The current Bolsa Família (family allowance) program benefits 11 million of poor families with children at school and other programs promote family farming and training for technical trades.

    “But some of these programs must be consolidated and others must be extended to other areas of the country”, said Ananias.

    Mercopress

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    • Show Comments (17)

    • João da Silva

      Llyod Cata
      [quote]It would be no less unexpected for some para’s to show up at my door.[/quote]

      You can always seek political asylum in France. Sorbonne has some tenure track teaching positions vacant.:D

    • João da Silva

      Llyod Cata
      [quote]However, IMHO those groups aligned against Madame Rousseff will make it a very interesting contest. [/quote]

      You are wise beyond your tender age.;-):D;-)

      [quote]BTW…has there ever been an election costing $500M in Brazil? [/quote]

      Is Obama´s campaign manager charging that much?:o

    • João da Silva

      Adriana A
      [quote]Joao, two wrongs don’t make one right…[/quote]

      I know Adriana. You miss my point, though. I am sure you haven’t forgotten the expression “Tudo farinha do mesmo saco”.

      We have one “home bred” revolutionary from the “upper class” background. Another who went into self imposed exile just like his “Guru”. Fine, Marina hasn’t claimed [i][b]yet[/b][/i] that she was also fighting the “dictatorship”. But I dont think that she has a chance against the “Mother of PAC”. We are all set to watch a new “novela” till October with the end result already known.:sad:

    • Lloyd Cata

      Vote For Me !!! ……you wish 8)
      [b]João da Silva – The people want her as the next President and that is the end of story.[/b]

      …and I await their verdict at the ballot, my friend. However, IMHO those groups aligned against Madame Rousseff will make it a very interesting contest.
      BTW…has there ever been an election costing $500M in Brazil?

      [b]Adriana A – in case Brazil become a left-wing dictatorship, you guys could come to my rescue, because I have such big mouth and people like me do not survive in those kinds of regime[/b]

      You just give the word.;-) It would be no less unexpected for some para’s to show up at my door. I am quite sure my statements are being parsed and analyzed by any number of intelligence agencies. As my friend, João, could tell you, there isn’t anyone who has not felt the outrage of my opinion. Yet, it is ‘my’ opinion and with the help of the truth I will defend it …and your right to your opinion.

    • Adriana A.,

      Joao, two wrongs don’t make one right…
      [quote]Where was “Folha” when FHC sold TELEBRAS was sold for a song?
      [/quote]

      And Lula? Do I need to remind you my friend?

    • Adriana A.,

      Oh please, guys…
      The people want her? It’s not what the poll has been saying my dear Joao:cry:
      I always admired Marina specially after she left PT; the best move. So you guys ignore all the scandals PT has been involved, even with the documents? Okay, it is not me that will change that. At least we can continue to be friends, in case Brazil become a left-wing dictatorship, you guys could come to my rescue, because I have such big mouth and people like me do not survive in those kinds of regime;-)

    • João da Silva

      [quote]I am surprised “Folha de Sao Paulo” published front Page the new PT scandal -TELEBRAS. Thieves! [/quote]

      Where was “Folha” when FHC sold TELEBRAS was sold for a song?

      [quote]The right doesn’t want you, the capitalists don’t want you, the generals don’t want you, and the press is terrified your going to follow the Chavez media formula.[/quote]

      Who says the “right”, the capitalists, generals, press, etc; do not want her? The people want her as the next President and that is the end of story.

    • Lloyd Cata

      “Not This Time! Não esse tempo!”
      Too bad PT crooks fell for this trick to make something of nothing. That’s why the Telebras wants the optical lines that are now ‘dark fiber’. Instant money machine and the cable is already in the ground. Very good scam.

      “2 birds with on stone”, Telebras gets to keep the cables and PT takes the fall. They were waiting with this one to spoil Dilma’s ‘coming out’ party. Get it…Telebras not interested in PT regulation once they get the product!

      Campaign not even started yet, but Madame Rousseff had better be ready for the rough stuff, and if she doesn’t believe it she can call Hillary Clinton for how bad it can get. The right doesn’t want you, the capitalists don’t want you, the generals don’t want you, and the press is terrified your going to follow the Chavez media formula. You’ll not win this election with money, because all the ‘big’ money is against you. Corporate and capitalist money cannot be overcome in this election.
      If this election is to be won by PT it is going to be won by turnout. They will have to do what a ‘Union Party” does best, and that is ‘organize’, but this time they are going to have to organize a nation. Everyone can, and will throw dirt. Sadly the dirt on PT is fresh 😀

    • Nichoals usa_male

      Adriana is right, do not vote for “progessives” Obama drama/Miss Delimma aka thieves. Vote “right”.

    • Adriana A.,

      NOOOOOOO!
      I am surprised “Folha de Sao Paulo” published front Page the new PT scandal -TELEBRAS. Thieves! Brazilians will get rid of PT, enough is enough. No Dilma, never! She is a liar! She lied in the Varig’s case, she lied about Ruth Cardoso’s case, she lied about Lina Vieira’s case, she lied about her curriculum…
      No way, we deserve something better.

    • Lloyd Cata

      ….
      [b]Happy to read that two North American Gringos have endorsed Ms.Dilama´s candidacy. [/b]

      Have to learn to ‘read between the lines’, my friend. I certainly did not miss our friends reference to Mr. Serra, or at least someone to the right of Madame Rousseff. Of course you are free to disregard all reference to ‘market forces’ because we already know what that looks like from the status of the Western economies.
      Perhaps if they had put more emphasis on the ‘have-nots’ when they had the opportunity(boom times) then they would have a soft landing. Now they are all beggars waiting for the bankers to save them.

      :D;-):D;-):D;-) …perhaps you remember my advice to Mr. Obama about the pitchforks. “Hope for the best…and prepare for the worst”. I’m not holding my breath waiting for Goldman Sachs to decide who is worthy of saving. For sure, my name is not on any of their ledgers. :sad::sad::sad::sad::sad::sad:

    • João da Silva

      [quote]Wrong, I only read one North American (US citizen)who endorsed Ms. Dilma. [/quote]

      I am so sorry to have given an instant U.S. citizenship to Dr.Cata, overlooking the fact that he is a Martian.

      Also my apologies for misspelling the name of our future President. It should read [b][i]”Ms.Dilemma”[/i][/b].

    • Nichoals usa_male

      [b]Happy to read that two North American Gringos have endorsed Ms.Dilama´s candidacy.[/b]

      Wrong, I only read one North American (US citizen)who endorsed Ms. Dilma.

    • João da Silva

      Happy to read that two North American Gringos have endorsed Ms.Dilama´s candidacy. Hopefully we will hear similar endorsements from Europe, especially Bulgaria.

      The Americans missed a great opportunity by not electing an Iron Lady. IMHO, the reason is that the Americans are a bunch of chauvinists. With the election of Ms.Dilma as the President of the second largest democracy in the Americas, the political and economic scenarios in this Hemisphere are bound to change in favor of “Have-Nots”.

    • Nichoals usa_male

      [b]On Friday the convention approved a campaign platform which basically proposes the continuation of President Lula’s policies, mostly market friendly. But is also includes proposals to expand and strengthen the role of government corporations, taxing holders of large assets and increasing welfare programs for the needy and vulnerable.[/b]

      Market friendly=good
      Government Corporations?=mmmmm, that’s just a box full of sweets for corrupted politicians.
      Government Corporations but treated as private institutes= mmmm, not really such a great idea with big government, but don’t tax to high the investors you need to grow and make more money. Once you tax them to high, investors leave and you’ll loose money, it’s that simple.
      increasing welfare programs!!! Do you brazilians really want to become like Europe? Don’t you watch international news what is happening with those expensive big government welfare programs? They cripple the nation’s economy. Why? They always project rosy numbers, but in reality they have to spend more money and increase taxes that kills jobs and the people you need to have a strong economy. wealth= people who create jobs, produce products and services the people need to maintain their lifestyle. that all can be done by their own and without a big government, doesn’t matter how efficient they claim to be. Poor people don’t need big govenment, again they need jobs that will improve their lives on their own. It’s the same old story just like here in the US. Both nations need to reform their tax system, cut wasteful spending, and make government smaller. Want to combat inflation what is the hidden enemy of the people, doesn’t matter which class? Again, reform the tax system and cut wasteful spending. Big government loves to spend (print money) and result? a dissaster in the long term. Just watch how obama increases big government, spending money like crazy and watch carefully how Europe is being crippled by it’s expensive entitlement welfare system, that obama wants to copy. Serious, how dumb can you be. Brazilians are now in an amazing/ unique position to do things the right way and grow but sustainable. So far what i read about Mr Serra, he wants to have less government and a tax reform, more responsibilty to the people. Sounds good but you never know with politicians once they are in charge. Mrs Rouseff is clear, an efficient “progressive” bureaucrat= a technocrat=someone who wants/loves whatever to control the economy. Hmm serious, you really believe that? It should sounds familiar to Brazilians who read history about their own nation and how the US is falling apart thanks to “big government”. I’m a big fan of Brazil, the way of life, the friendly people, and in my opinion it would be nice to see Brazilian going the “right” way….you only have “order” when progress is being made the right way. What is the right way? simple, let people decide for themself and not government.

    • Lloyd Cata

      Money Talks And Easy Money Speaks Loudest
      Hi,
      I think we discussed what I thought of $20M NRA money from US to defeat the gun law. I’m really disappointed that this is not the campaign slogan of those with ‘clean’ hands. The same people ho supported the NRA in the US wanted to indict Mrs. Kirchner in Argentina for some $50k campaign donation from US ‘friends’. More 2-faced cannot be imagined, but the trick is to mask the other face.

      Powerful interests will flood new cash into Brazil now from all over the world, but the decisive money will be the media money. $500 Million dollars in this campaign could change the face of the election. Not really a high price considering ‘the prize’.

      Brazil could, and has, done worse than Madame Rousseff. I would hope that her ‘coalition’ will temper her authoritarian tendencies, but IMHO Brazil needs a “Iron Butterfly” more than a shy ladybug. Continuity, and Lula’s back-door influence, should provide ‘stability’ which is something Brazil could use as the best ‘currency’ in an unstable world economy.

      [b]Dilma, Si![/b]

    • João da Silva

      [quote]Is Brazil Ready to Elect a Woman and Former Guerrilla for President?[/quote]

      I think so, provided the “rightist [i][b]reactionary[/b][/i], anti [i][b]social[/b][/i] and anti [i][b]socialist[/b][/i]” elements from overseas do [i][b]not [/b][/i]interfere in our electoral process.

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