|What’s left after Obama’s visit to Brazil?|
|Written by PSTU|
|Tuesday, 29 March 2011 03:01|
|What’s left after Obama’s visit to Brazil?
U.S. president leaves the country leaving behind trade agreements, promises of oil supplies, humiliation, and 13 political prisoners.
The American president had not even left Brazil and, on the balance that the press made of his brief visit, beyond the hype and euphoria, there was also a certain tone of frustration. Obama did not give explicit support to Brazilian aspirations for a permanent UN Security Council seat, as expected by the government and by the media. In a statement to reporters alongside Dilma, despite the compliments, the U.S. president only showed “appreciation” to Brazilian government aspirations.
And if the official events did not come to excite, the announced “historic visit”, the “tourist” agenda, was even duller. They summed up to the traditional cultural performances. The public discourse at “Cinelândia” was canceled just a day earlier. The delegation alleged safety issues, but some have indicated the withdrawal to the presumable lack of public and fear of protests in the square.
The meaning of the visit
Obama came over Brazil with two goals. The first, and declared, was to establish trade agreements, eliminate tariffs and trade barriers, the TECA, its acronym in English. And the reason for this, the U.S. President has not hidden: the U.S. is in crisis and need to increase exports, and Brazil is a large and growing market.
But Obama’s eyes were on the pre-salt. “We are creating a new strategic dialogue on energy to ensure that our governments work together to seize new opportunities, particularly the new oil discoveries in Brazil”, he spoke at Palácio do Planalto. With the political instability in the Middle East, the U.S. sees in Brazil a golden opportunity to plunder the oil. Besides the stability, the U.S. government can count on a complete submission to their interests.
Several examples of submission in such short visit: the frisk that Dilma’s ministers were subject to at the entrance of Obama’s speech to businessmen. Ministers Guido Mantega (Finance), Edson Lobão (Mines and Energy), Mercadante (Science and Technology) and Fernando Pimentel (Development), were searched by American security guards in their own country. The situation recalled the humiliation posed to the then Foreign Minister Celso Lafer, in the Fernando Henrique Cardoso government, forced to take his shoes off to enter the U.S.
Despite the discourse on equality, even in appearance, the Brazilian government was not able to hide its subordinate role.
Toasts amid bomb attacks authorization
Obama’s second goal was to reach the mass media. The president sought to strengthen his popular and friendly image, making the audience believes that he had nothing to do with Bush and his predecessors. He counted on the Brazilian press generous help, which dedicated him a large and favorable coverage. The fact of being black was taken as a proof of Obama’s identity with the Brazilian people.
The facts, however, show that behind Barack’ smile it lurks the old Yankee imperialism. A scene described in the newspaper Folha de São Paulo illustrates this very well. In the early afternoon of March 19, Obama attended a reception hosted by the Foreign Ministry (Itamaraty). At the time of the toast, the President was interrupted by an aide, who handed him a phone. After a few words, the president returned to his toast. He had just authorized the air strike on Libya.
In the speech at the Municipal Theater, Obama praised democracy, remembered Dilma Rousseff’s struggle as a guerrilla against the dictatorship in Brazil. Not a single word or “mea culpa”, of course, about U.S. involvement in the coup of 1964. Or the support the U.S. rendered, until yesterday, to dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa, and also to Gaddafi.
What did this visit show?
The visit itself did not show any big news and, unlike the press euphoric tone, there were not support statements in the society. But on the other hand, the visit revealed plenty of things. Brazilian government committed to be a faithful vassal of imperialism and the Obama’s ordering the air strike on Libya when he was in the premises of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry holds a high symbolic meaning.
Governments have joined forces to roll out the red carpet to the Head of imperialism. Even the Court showed its submission. The arrest of 13 demonstrators on March 18, during a protest, was an unprecedented event. The argument of the judge who ordered the arrests speaks for itself: the detainees pose a “threat to public order” while Obama was here and could “tarnish” the country’s image.
However there would be more of it. The PT (Workers Party) and the Palácio do Planalto express order prohibiting its militants to participate in demonstrations against Obama shows the party pro-imperialist character and uncovers its role in social movements. A historic and unprecedented event: an order of the Workers Party for their members not to attend a demonstration against a U.S. president, an act against imperialism!
Obama’s visit thus showed a more submissive Brazilian government, committed to deliver our oil to imperialism and to open our market to the U.S. It revealed a Justice that proves to be able to trample the Constitution in order to defend U.S. interests, as if we were in a state of emergency.
Obama finally says goodbye to Brazil leaving behind trade agreements and the oil guarantee for their industry and their cars. He also leaves 13 political prisoners and the certainty that, unfortunately, for a part of the Brazilian trade union movement, imperialism is no longer an enemy.
 – Dilma Rousseff – President of Brazil, elected on November, 2010.
 – Cinelândia – District in Historic Downtown Rio de Janeiro.
 Pre-salt layer – a geological formation on the continental shelves off the coast of Africa and Brazil. The layer is of importance because of its significant petroleum resources. The oil and natural gas lie below an approximately 2000 m deep layer of salt, itself below an approximately 5000 m deep the Atlantic.
 – Palácio do Planalto (Palace of Highlands) – is the official workplace of the President of Brazil, located in Brasília
 – Workers Party (PT) – Dilma Rousseff’s party, to which the former President Lula belongs to.