View Full Version : Former Marxist guerrilla sworn in as president of Brazil

01-01-2011, 13:19

Former Marxist guerrilla sworn in as president of Brazil

Dilma Rousseff is Brazil's first female president, taking over from the immensely popular Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The new president hopes to keep the country's booming economy on track while advancing her Workers Party social agenda.
By Marcelo Soares and Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
January 1, 2011, 9:45 a.m.
Reporting from Porto Alegre, Brazil, and Bogota, Accepting the mantle of power from her immensely popular mentor, former Marxist guerrilla Dilma Rousseff was sworn in Saturday as Brazil's first female president and faced two immediate tasks: keeping the booming economy on track and fleshing out Brazil's developing role on the world stage.

Rousseff, 63, took office with big shoes to fill: those of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who leaves Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia with an 87% approval rating, the highest in recent history for a departing leader of South America's largest and most populous nation.

The new president hopes to maintain the economic momentum that was the key to Lula's power and popularity while advancing the Workers Party social agenda of reducing poverty, attracting foreign investment to create jobs and taking greater control of natural resources.

Rousseff will almost immediately have to select a contractor in a $4-billion jet fighter purchase for Brazil's expanding armed forces. She must also shepherd the construction of billions of dollars' worth of infrastructure as the nation prepares to put on the World Cup soccer tournament in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 while trying to keep a lid on drug-fueled crime in the host city for both events, Rio de Janeiro.

She also steps into a diplomatic row with Italy after Lula declined to extradite a suspected terrorist.

Rousseff takes office as relations with the United States are in state of flux. The Obama administration was displeased with Lula's attempt last year to broker a deal with Iran that would resolve international tensions over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Still, President Obama admired Lula and at least publicly professed satisfaction with Brazil's growing regional clout.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Brasilia, the capital, to represent the United States at the inauguration. But significantly, Rousseff has said the first foreign leader she will meet with is leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. She also has promised to appoint more women to her cabinet.

Soares and Kraul are special correspondents.

The Reaper
01-01-2011, 16:43
The new president hopes to keep the country's booming economy on track while advancing her Workers Party social agenda.

I do not believe this is possible, given that the mutually contradictory goals are impossible to reconcile, and this is going to result in a spectacular train wreck.:munchin


01-01-2011, 16:52
I have been reading about this in the Economist. Two of the biggest reasons for Lula's success were his pragmatism which saw him pushing policies that were not in keeping with a socialist agenda, although they were good for the country, and his immense charisma which allowed him to get away with that. Rousseff lacks that charisma and it appears that she lacks much of his pragmatism as well. She road Lula's coat tails into office and the election showed that she will not enjoy the same support that Lula had. It will be interesting what she does now.