Brazil on world stage Is economic, Olympic success being eclipsed by Zelaya flap?
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil | To the outside world, Brazil appears on a roll.
In recent weeks, the country has beaten out Spain, Japan and the United States to become the venue for the 2016 Summer Olympics — the first South American country to host the games.
Brazil has taken an increasingly important place in world economic deliberations as a member of the Group of 20 industrial and developing economies. Its domestic economy appears to be recovering from crisis faster than many others.
But Brazil’s decision to give refuge Sept. 21 to the ousted president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, in the Brazilian Embassy in that Central American nation has aroused controversy and concern about whether Brazil is acting on principle or trying to curry favor with the other Latin power, Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, is a strong supporter of Mr. Zelaya.
Peruvian pundit Alvaro Vargas Llosa said Brazil was helping Mr. Zelaya to bolster its own standing in the Americas.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has maintained a dual “political-ideological persona during most of his term,” Mr. Vargas Llosa said. While cooperating with Washington, “he has also kept an old Brazilian tradition of counterbalancing U.S. influence in the region and trying to emerge as a regional power.”
“He obviously thinks the alliance with the left helps him in
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and his wife, Xiomara Castro, have taken refuge at the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras.
Nearly 50,000 Brazilians celebrate at Copacabana beach after Rio de Janeiro was chosen Oct. 2 to host the 2016 Olympic Games.