January 26, 2005


Brazil's Leftists No Longer See President as Their Champion (Henry Chu, January 26, 2005, LA Times)

Shortly after his inauguration as this nation's first left-leaning president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva garnered rapturous applause from a massive convocation of international social activists here when he promised to take on the capitalist world order and strive to end hunger in poor countries.

What a difference two years makes. This week, the leader of Latin America's largest country is again scheduled to address the World Social Forum, which opens today. But this time, jeering may replace cheering as many of his once-ardent supporters accuse him of betraying the pledges of his campaign.

From environmentalists to human-rights advocates, urban workers to the rural poor, left-wing activists are disappointed or downright furious with the man they believed would finally put their causes high on Brazil's agenda.

Instead, they say, the former labor leader and leftist firebrand has pursued policies identical to those of the center-right administration that preceded him.

Some folks didn't get the memo about History being at an End.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 26, 2005 9:36 AM

environmentalists to human-rights advocates, urban workers to the rural poor

That's an interesting list, because anything you did to please any one of those groups would make bitter enemies out of at least one of the others.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 26, 2005 10:01 AM

All he had to do was "Show them the money."

Brazil's the 8th largest economy, right?

EEVVVIILLLL capitalist.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 26, 2005 10:27 AM

Had Lula governed as an outright Leftist, Brazil would now be in worse shape than Argentina. But perhaps that is what these groups want - it would keep them at the forefront of the street, marching against THE MAN! Too bad.

If they want to live under such nonsense, move to Venezuela.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 26, 2005 10:36 AM

Lula had pandered to these clowns for decades and now that he is in power he has been mugged by reality, they are turning on him. Brazil's weird left won't be happy with anything short of civil war.

Posted by: Bart at January 26, 2005 5:55 PM