Category Archives: Brazil

Brazil Hostage To Terrorists

Ah Brazil, land of enchantment with people dancing in the streets, gorgeous beaches, a dynamic capital city of Rio de Janeiro, and sunshine and gorgeous men and women. What could one desire more than life in such a paradise? Guests at the International Hotel in the city are now cowering in their rooms after witnessing the hotel invaded by ten gunmen demanding something, but deciding to hold 30 guests as hostages in their standoff with the police. Finally, after gunfire wracked the area, the police were able to negotiate with the criminal band for release of hostages and return to some form of quiet and peace. The gunmen entered the hotel with high-caliber rifles, grenades and pistols and when the police arrived at the scene, there are reports dozens of the gunmen fled to the safety of a nearby slums. One guest wryly noted, “It seemed as if I was in Iraq.” After end of the siege, many guests told reporters they were not leaving the hotel because of fear there were criminals waiting outside.

Rio de Janeiro supposedly is the site of the 2014 World Cup matches. Who knows, maybe football players will show up for the games, but will there be spectators in the stands. Of course, the government of Brazil could always negotiate with criminals to fill in the stands. Heck, why not encourage them to bring their rifles and grenades and thus ensure Brazil is victorious in the games?

Iran Asked To Display Compassion By Brazil

Iran contains an educated population including leading thinkers in the world of science, medicine, literature and history. It is not a backward country, but thirty years ago the nation was taken over by fundamentalist clerics who had their own direct line to the Prophet Mohammad as well as to God. Over the past few years there have been several incidents in which Iranian women were accused of heinous crimes such as walking with a man other than their husband or having an affair, and the punishments have ranged from jail to hanging to being stoned to death. Complaints from Western nations ordinarily are dismissed as coming from countries hostile to the Iranian government. However, in the latest case of a sentence containing the sentence of stoning to death for adultery, the request has come from a friend of Ahmadinejad– President Lula da Silva. He has offered asylum to the woman in the spirit of compassion.

It will be interesting if compassion is a word known in the vocabulary of men of God.

Possible Resolution Of Iranian Nuclear Issue?

A glimmer of hope has emerged in dealing with Iranian plans to develop their nuclear energy program. Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva, together with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have been meeting in Tehran with Iranian leaders for a compromise solution that allows Iran to continue developing nuclear energy without becoming involved in building a nuclear bomb. A possible solution would witness Iran swapping its low-enriched-uranium (LEU) for higher grade uranium in a neutral nation like Turkey instead of adhering to UN demands that it be completed in a nation they identify.

America must learn to draw upon emerging world powers like Brazil or Turkey in order to resolve diplomatic problems. The USA for all too long insists any solution must go through an American decision. Step back, take a deep breath, and allow Brazil or Turkey or whoever serve as the mediator.

US ‘War On Drugs” Policy Kaput!

The tide of drug madness has finally crested in Latin America as several nations move toward decriminalizing the use of drugs by people. In Argentine, the Supreme Court ruled that “each adult is free to make decisions without intervention of the state” and if they desire to smoke marijuana for their own use, it is perfectly legal. Mexico is moving toward decriminalizing and there are reports a similar effort is underway in Brazil and Ecuador. Former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso who has been urging an end to the criminalization of drugs noted: “the tide is clearly turning” because the famous US strategy of a “war on crime” has failed.

In the 1970s, President Nixon launched the war on crime and in 2001, President Bush initiated the war on terrorism. These wars suffer from the same problem– they have no rationale in reality since people daily use drugs purchased legally at the pharmacy that are similar to those deemed, “illegal.” The only thing the war on drugs accomplished was to enrich drug lords and cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars each year. The only thing the war on terror ever accomplished was to increase the number and power of terrorists.

How about Barack Obama truly ushering a new era in which government has a monopoly on use of drugs like marijuana and uses that power to further drug education, not drug incarceration?

British Tourists Arrested In Brazil Because Not Law Grads

Two British tourists have been arrested in Brazil for making false charges of being robbed in a city where robbery is highly unusual. This case suggests either (a) UK law schools graduate incompetent lawyers or (b) Brazilian police don’t make sense. According to the police, Shanti Andrews and Rebecca Turner who both recently graduated from law school decided to pull a scam by claiming they were robbed in order to collect insurance. The two bright ladies walked into a Brazilian police station to file a report and, according to the police, left the items they claimed were stolen lying around in their hotel room. Could be, but if so it suggests the two young ladies need a refresher course on how to scam police.

The two young ladies are being held in a notorious Brazilian jail where vicious criminals are lodged, no doubt, due to the gravity of claiming they lost some panties or dresses or what. Police say they can not place the two ladies in a less violent jail because no one has provided proof these women actually graduated from a law school. I am not that bright, I only have a Ph.D, but what does the fact one did or did not graduate from a law school have to do with the ladies being locked up in with murderers and thieves?

How About An Oil Embargo On Iran?

The G8 meeting resulted in a message to Iran that it must cease developing a nuclear program that might result in development of atomic weapons. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking for the group sent a message to Iran that unless there was significant improvement in discussions concerning atomic bomb development, “we will have to take decisions.” The G8 formal announcement said: “We sincerely hope that Iran will seize the opportunity to give diplomacy a chance to find a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue.”

There is a solution to the nuclear issue. Impose an oil embargo on Iran unless it comes to the bargaining table to enter into serious discussions. Ahmadinejad’s government could not survive a few months unless it had oil money to buy off important segments of Iranian society. Iran is not in the driver’s seat, it depends on money from selling oil. There is no need for further discussions, just cease purchasing Iranian oil.

Headlines From The World Press

Each week we offer headlines that appeared in the world press along with our commentary.

Norway, Aftenposten: “Albino Moose In Danger”
There are reports the albino moose are fooling around with brown colored moose.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Where There Is Smoke”
There is smoke.

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “Half Moon Hot Rodders To Be Jailed”
They will be released at the full moon.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Call For Garbage Ambassador”
Something smells about this story.

Sweden, The Local: “Right of Swedish Girls To Take Clothes Off”
That right is strongly supported by Swedish men.

Australia, Canberra Times: “Danger of Homosexuality”
For homosexuals or non-homosexuals?

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: “German Delighted With Double Arm Transplant”
Let’s give this a round of applause.

Israel, Haaretz: “Iranians Launch Women Only Car”
However, the cars were made by men and their fingerprints are on them.

Norway, Aftenposten: “Save Christmas Campaign Quits”
It will be replaced by a Save Hannukah campaign.

UK, The Independent: “Prostitutes Offered Whore Miles”
They can be used for ridging you know what.

Finland, Sanomat: “Dumb And Mean”
McCain and Palin.

Qatar, Arab Times: “Can Elephants Revive Tourist Trade?”
I’ll have to dig into my memory to see if that can happen.

Sweden, The Local: “Doctor Mistakes Ovary For Appendix”
Well, they both were inside the body.

Brazilian Rainforest Will Be Gone Says Gone Minister

Marina Silva, Minister of Evnironment in the Brazilian government, has finally decided she is unable to succeed in her battle to save the rainforest and will depart her position. In a letter to President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, Ms. Silva said her efforts to protect the rainforest were being thwarted by powerful business lobbies. “Your Excelency was a witness to the growing resistance found by our team in important sectors of the government and society” she wrote the president. Her departure makes clear that Lula has drifted away from his promises to make a vigorous effort to save the rainforest from destruction by business interests.

The worldwise boom in agricultural coomodities has created an ongoing thirst for land and energy in Brazil and the result will undoubtedly prove catastropic for the rainforest. The president has been under pressure from business interests to proceed with plans for agricultural expansion since there are billions of dollars at stake in using rainforest land.

Marclo Furtado, campaign director for Greenpeace Brazil, says “Although Lula has adppted the environment talk, the practice is development at whatever cost.” The government is already prepared to construct a massive hydroelectric dam on the Xingu River despite opposition for environment groups. Money talks and the environment walks.

Brazil Knocking On Door Of OPEC

Brazilian President Luis Ignacio Lula de Silva believes it is time for OPEC to recognize the emerging oil impact of his nation and make it a member of the oil producing nations’ club. In 2007, a uage oil reserve was disccovered off the coast of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro area. The find could well catapult Brazil’s oil reserve by about 40% which should make Brazil an emerging economic powerhourse. Lula wants to combine the enormous work his nation has done in ethanol production with the new oil reserves to prove Brazil is no longer a third world nation, but an important figure in modern oil production. His goal is that by 2025, ethanol will handle all internal needs of the nation for oil which leaves the newly discovered oil to be sold abroad.

Lula, in an interview with Der Spiegel, argues Europe should not get involved in ethanol production but leave that aspect of energy to Latin American and Africa. “Our production costs are unbeatable,” he argues, and it is time for Europe and American to accept the role Brazil can play in the energy crisis facing the world.

Brazil brings to oil the presence of a stable government run on democratic princples and willing to cooperate with the world.

Hugo Chavez Upsets XVII Ibero-American Summit Mteeting

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez created a turmoil at the Ibero-American summit meeting in Chile by proposing drastic changes in Latin American borders. “Bolivia has a right to the sea. You know my position, and we all know the history. Bolivia had access to the sea, and that was just and legitimate.” Bolivia lost the territory in a war with Chile. Chavez also blasted the Summit because of its theme of “social cohesion” claiming that idea was a “very conservative, static concept.” He preferred that the Summit adopt at its theme, “social transformation.”Chilean officials were furious at their guest’s comments pointing out Chile had gotten rid of the dictator, Pinochet, and was in the process of creating a modern democratic society which was also addressing issues of poverty. Chavez was supported by Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua who went further in suggesting the Organization of American States should be replaced with a new organization of Latin American nations that would exclude the United States.

There were several raucous incidents during the meetings. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zaptero was delivering a speech when Chavez interrupted him and began denounced the Spanish leader for taking part in a coup that attempted to overthrow the Venezuelan government. After the fourth interruption, the King of
Spain, Juan Carlos lost his temper and told exclaimed to Chavez, “Why don’t you just shut up?” Midway through a speech by Daniel Ortega, the pro-Chavez supporter, the King stormed out of the meeting. During quieter moments of the meeting, President Bachelet of Chile met with Bolivian leader Evo Morales and she offered to discuss possibilities of finding ways for his nation to get access to the sea.

Chavez is quite testy when it comes to denouncing US imperialism, but appears much quieter when discussion shifts to his efforts to stifle free speech in Venezuela and to allow himself to be president forever.