What Is It the US Wants of Brazil?

The great electoral dispute in Brazil has left out the interests of the United States and South America. Isolated with the project of the Pacific Alliance, its interests have become clearer in its two opposing candidates: Marina Silva and Aecio Neves.

As far as Brazil’s bilateral agreements — clearly, in first place comes the United States, weakening all projects aimed at regional integration — from Mercosur to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, even passing Unasur in this effort. Considering the weight it has acquired, a change of Brazil’s international position would mean the biggest change in the region’s political relationships since the election of the series of anti-neoliberal governments at the beginning of this century.

Internally, there is a radical shift in market politics that would weaken the role of the state. Arminio Fraga, Aecio Neves’s potential finance minister, talked about some ideas that were in vogue back when he was in Cardoso’s government: that the minimum wage in Brazil is too high and is stunting the return of economic growth; that at a certain level of unemployment is actually a good thing, if only to limit workers’ ability to negotiate; that public banks have gotten too big; et cetera, et cetera, et cetera — all music to the ears of orthodox economists, institutions and governments, namely, the United States.

A win for Neves would mean a big change in the Brazilian economy, similar to that of Cardoso’s time, with the difference being that back then, inflation was uncontrolled, and now, it is, currently at somewhere around 6 percent per year. Despite the media’s terrorist campaign of warnings of inflationary risks, that level is less than half of what Lula inherited from Cardoso — 12.5 percent.

It would be a hard turn toward conservatism, neoliberalism and unpopular, sell-out politics. The risk reaffirms all previous doubts, like how Brazil’s foreign policy interests clash with those of the United States, and how the model for economic development with rent distribution contradicts the Brazilian business world.

Documents from the campaign reaffirm that the business world not only opposes the government, but also operates against its interests, raising the Sao Paulo stock market, according to surveys favorable to Dilma, and lowering it when they are unfavorable. Like the great voices of the national and international media, of the International Monetary Fund, the United States won’t stop expressing its hope in the candidate that defends its interests.

All the U.S. wants is for Brazil to radically change its politics, its international position, economic model, political discourse, and regional and global alliances. All the U.S. wants is for the opposing candidate to bring back Cardoso’s Brazil and the subservient politics that play into Washington’s hand.

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About Tristan Franz 93 Articles
Tristan is a teacher, writer, traveler and translator from Brooklyn, New York.

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