April 27, 2005


U.S., Brazil discuss trade, Chávez: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reached out to Brazil during a five-day trip through Latin America that will also take her to Colombia, Chile, and El Salvador. (PABLO BACHELET, 4/27/05, Miami Herald)

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Brazilian counterpart Tuesday vowed they would work together to shore up democracy and promote free trade in Latin America, but showed subtle differences over how to deal with Venezuela's controversial President Hugo Chávez.

''We have agreed to continue to work together in a way that respects the sovereignty of countries, to favor democracy, especially in our own continent,'' Brazil's foreign minister Celso Amorim said in a joint press conference with Rice.

Rice's five-day trip to Brazil, Colombia, Chile and El Salvador is the latest instance of the Bush administration's efforts to reach out to Latin America, after criticism that it did little in the president's first term to help solve the region's problems. Since President Bush's reelection, Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have twice traveled to the region.

Rice said she talked with Amorim about how ''we might reenergize our efforts to make progress on the FTAA,'' a reference to the stalled drive for an agreement on a Free Trade Area of the Americas. ''There ought to be as much free trade as possible,'' she said.

Rice met with Amorim and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on the first leg of her swing to push Bush's agenda for more free trade, fewer barriers to business and more transparent governments as a way to ensure that the region becomes more prosperous, less corrupt and more stable.

Brazil should be welcomed into the Axis of Good and if it does prove a consistent ally we should make sure that it gets a Security Council seat to go with India's.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2005 1:10 PM

With everyone wanting a UNSC seat, they're going to need a bigger boat.

Posted by: Sandy P. at April 27, 2005 3:11 PM

One per continent:


Posted by: oj at April 27, 2005 3:17 PM

Nah, anyone who wants one should get one.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 27, 2005 3:39 PM

Does that mean the penguins get a vote?

Wouldn't be much different than today.

Posted by: ratbert at April 27, 2005 3:44 PM

Thehn Australia deserves a seat for her continent too!

Posted by: oswald booth czolgosz at April 27, 2005 5:01 PM

The more the merrier. Heck, Bob Byrd should get his own seat. Then we would have been sure to get approval for the Robert C. Byrd War, in which the Robert C. Byrd Army invades Byrdistan, formerly known as Iraq.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 27, 2005 6:35 PM

Brazil has had pretensions to be a rival for US dominance in the Americas for a long time. I'm not sure if it's in our interests to promote a UN seat for them.

Their only disadvatnage for leadership is that they speak Portugese instead of Spanish. Otherwise, with their population, size, and economy, they'd be much more successful.

We'd do better supporting Argentina assuming they get their economy in gear and subdue their lingering ties to Peronism.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at April 27, 2005 7:14 PM

Most everyone has pretensions, it's just more out in the open now.

Posted by: Sandy P. at April 27, 2005 11:42 PM

Brazil's leader is a Communist leaning toward the leadership style of Hugo Chevez and Fidel Castro. They are all three already in the Axis of Evil - Western Hemisphere division.

Posted by: mark pettifor at April 28, 2005 10:09 AM

A friend of mine, a botanist, gave a talk last night about his visit to Brazil.

He was most impressed by the quality of the students and researchers he met there, but the country is in the tank.

Its social problems are no nearer being addressed than they were 50 years ago -- on this topic I recommend a diary, if you can find it, called 'Children of the Dark' -- but the underclass is much better armed than it used to be.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 29, 2005 6:33 PM