Brazzil Hates Brazil!

    Brazzil Hates Brazil!

    Brazil has a very small
    minority which is fiercely anti-American.
    These people are jealous of the power of the United States. They
    know that Brazil has the human and natural resources to be the
    South American equivalent of the US but is nowhere near catching
    up. They use the gringos as an excuse for Brazil’s backwardness.
    by: John
    Fitzpatrick

    Did you know that the name of the brazzil magazine and site is an insult
    to Brazil and that your correspondent delights in running down everything
    about this country? Neither did I.

    However, in the eyes of
    someone called Mauro Chaves, who writes a regular column in O Estado de
    S. Paulo newspaper, we at brazzil are spreading disinformation
    around the world behind Brazilians’ backs. In fact we are: "a group which
    appears to specialize in destroying Brazil’s image abroad."

    Remember this the next
    time you see an article in brazzil by someone like former education
    minister, Cristovam Buarque, Alberto Dines, Carlos Chagas or even President
    Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

    We contributors devote
    our time to researching and writing articles on Brazilian culture, politics,
    the economy, music, sport, entertainment, food and drink because we hate Brazil.

    Chaves sounds like a man
    of many talents since he describes himself as a journalist, lawyer, company
    administrator, writer, cultural producer and painter. We should be flattered
    that he turned his attention to our site but, in fact, he knew nothing of
    brazzil until we started a correspondence a few weeks back when I sent
    him an e-mail disagreeing with an article in which he claimed that non-governmental
    organizations (NGOs) were getting out of control.

    He singled out foreign
    NGOs and made some claims which were difficult to accept. One was that the
    foreign influence in the Amazon region was so strong that there were now Indians
    who spoke English and French and did not know Portuguese.

    He also claimed that there
    were parts of the Amazon region where American and English flags flew. (I
    assume he meant British flags but he probably does not know the difference
    between England and the UK.)

    I questioned his journalistic
    ability in publishing information which was unfounded and asked where these
    Indians were. In reply I received a long, aggressive message in which Chaves
    demanded to know who I was and why I wanted this information. He also alleged
    that I was an "adventurer" who knew nothing about Brazil.

    I directed him to brazzil
    and another site for which I write called Infobrazil in the hope that
    he might accept my credentials, stop prevaricating and answer the question.
    Instead he claimed that an article I had written about Ayrton Senna was libelous.

    For someone who claims
    to be a lawyer he does not seem to know the difference between fair comment
    and libel. He then launched an attack in his latest column on May 29 making
    the absurd claims mentioned above.

    I wrote a letter of reply
    but O Estado refused to publish in full and printed an edited version
    on June 2.

    This means
    that readers did not get the full background to this affair.
    However, it gave me particular satisfaction to point out that
    the publisher of brazzil, Rodney Mello, was one of
    O Estado’s American correspondents in the 80s and 90s,
    and the name was in no way an insult to the country.

    Blame the Americans

    Chaves represents those
    Brazilians who are hostile to foreigners and foreign influence in Brazil.
    Although Brazilians are generally extremely welcoming and hospitable there
    is, unfortunately, a very small minority which is nationalistic and fiercely anti-American.

    The British are regarded
    as the Americans’ running dogs. It was typical of Chaves to assume, among
    his many false conclusions, that I was an American. These people are jealous
    of the power which the United States has.

    They know that Brazil
    has the human and natural resources to be the South American equivalent of
    the US but is nowhere near catching up. These xenophobes direct their ire
    not at the domestic culprits but use the "gringos" as an excuse
    for Brazil’s backwardness.

    This anti-Americanism
    unites the left and right, the young and old, although it does not stop them
    eating in McDonalds, drinking Coke, renting a video at Blockbuster, dancing
    to Britney Spears’ newest CD or queuing up in droves to watch the latest Brad
    Pitt movie.

    What kind of person do
    you think said this: "…the American government is imperialist: it
    went to war against Spain, seized Cuba, seized Puerto Rico, made Panama independent
    in order to construct the Canal, seized the Philippines, seized the other
    islands in the Pacific, grabbed most of Mexico. The whole of California was
    Mexican! Texas! What did it do with Texas? When it discovered that Texas had
    oil, the American government promoted a movement within Texas to make it independent
    and, a short time later the people "accepted" its annexation by
    the United States."

    Some lefty rabble-rouser
    outraged at the American attack on Iraq? No. It was Brazilian president General
    Ernesto Geisel criticizing a US State Department report on the human rights
    situation in Brazil in 1977. Even though the Americans had supported the dictatorship,
    the generals in charge were still biting the hand that fed them. If right-wing,
    nationalistic generals felt like that you wonder why they did not join forces
    with the leftists.

    Amazon Land Grab

    A look at
    the brazzil forum (www.brazzil.com/forum)
    will show the hostility which many younger Brazilians have towards
    the US. Almost any criticism of Brazil leads to a counter-attack
    in which the Americans get the blame.

    If a foreigner were to
    write an article on Brazil’s dreadful prisons, where murders and massacres
    are routine, a Brazilian reader would point to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq
    by American troops. To these people George Bush is more of a war criminal
    and terrorist than Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden.

    Many of these younger
    people have fallen for the myth of the "internationalization" of
    the Amazon and columnists like Chaves encourage it. Their "evidence"
    is a map from an American atlas which appeared on an Internet site some years
    ago and showed the Amazon marked as an "international zone".

    Anybody with a modicum
    of sense knew this was absurd and the whole affair turned out to be a hoax.
    However, there are many here who believe that the US is hatching a plot to
    grab the Amazon region and exploit its resources.

    According to this theory,
    American military advisers in Colombia are not there to help the government
    fight leftist rebels and drug traffickers but to put this plan into action.

    Wine Whine

    Anti-Americanism is so
    endemic that it pops up in the oddest areas. How about this comment from a
    recent issue of a magazine called Gula which is devoted to food and
    wine, an area you would think would be refreshingly free of political claptrap.

    In an article on a survey
    of wines, the editor wrote: "Neither of them (the winning wines) was
    created to win the approval of the Anglo-Americans, the dictators of world
    taste, who influence the market with the same omnipotence of George W. Bush’s
    soldiers in Iraq."

    What does a good wine
    have to do with US troops in Iraq and have the French been toppled from their
    pinnacle as the world’s wine experts? Ironically, on the page opposite there
    is an advert from an importer highlighting the fact that one of its wines
    appeared on the 100 best wine list of the Wine Spectator, which is
    an American publication. Cheers! Oops sorry, Saúde!


    John Fitzpatrick is a Scottish journalist who first visited Brazil in 1987
    and has lived in São Paulo since 1995. He writes on politics and
    finance and runs his own company, Celtic Comunicações – www.celt.com.br
    – which specializes in editorial and translation services for Brazilian
    and foreign clients. You can reach him at jf@celt.com.br.

    © John
    Fitzpatrick 2004

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