Left Wins Again In Brazil

For the first time, Brazil has elected a woman President. Dilma Rousseff  represents the left-of-center Worker’s Party.

(Above–Ms. Rousseff making a speech.)

Here is a profile of Ms. Rousseff from the BBC.

From the BBC—

“Ms Rousseff has a somewhat brusque manner and is reputed to have a short temper – attributes that have, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to her being dubbed the Iron Lady. Dilma Rousseff was born in 1947 and grew up in an upper middle class household in Belo Horizonte. Her father, Pedro Rousseff, was a Bulgarian immigrant. Her seemingly conventional background changed in the mid-1960s, when she was in her late teens. She became involved in left-wing politics and joined the underground resistance to the military dictatorship that seized power in 1964….Ms Rousseff, 62, joined President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government in 2003 as energy minister. In 2005, after a corruption scandal brought down key government figures, Mr Lula made her his chief of staff, a post she held until March 2010, when she launched her campaign for the presidency as the Workers Party (PT) candidate.”

Here, in English, is the web page of Brazilian Presidency

There are at the moment three women leaders in Latin America. Costa Rica and Argentina have female Presidents.

The election marks the third consecutive Presidential victory for the Worker’s Party. Brazil is the fifth most populous nation in the world with 193 million people.

The world’s largest democracy, India, also has a left-of-center government.

Here are some facts about population and wealth in Brazil.

Here is how the victory in Brazil was reported in the leading Indian newspaper The Hindu.

From The Hindu—

“Ms. Rousseff said her most “fundamental commitment” would be the eradication of poverty and the creation of opportunities for all. She emphasized economic development, the fight against “the protectionism of rich countries,” and he need to put an end to financial speculation which increases “the volatility of capital and currencies.”

Ms. Rousseff won election by 56%-44% in a runoff. The first round of voting, which involved three major candidates, had no representative of a right-wing party. There was Mr. Rouseff, a centrist and a Green.

The outgoing President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, likely could have been elected to a third term.  He was unable to run again due to term limits.

(Below—Ms. Rousseff shaking hands with President Obama with Lula, and Abe Lincoln, looking on.)

Lula, as he is known, may seek the office again in 2014.  Lula will remain a power in Brazil no matter what.

This seems similar to the situation in Russia where Vladimir Putin may have left the top job, but seems likely to return at some point.

The contrast being that Lula has kept Brazil on a path to democracy, while Mr. Putin has in mind a different direction.

Congratulations to the people of Brazil on a successful election and on the absence of any serious right-wing contender for the highest office.

Here are some basic facts about Brazil. Here is a history of Brazil.

(Below—Rio de Janeiro. Must be quite a place to visit. Photo by LecomteB)

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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