Articles by: Samantha Eyler Reid
On May 18 Brazilian President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan negotiated with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium. The success of the negotiations was hailed internationally, sealing Brazil’s designation as a rising global power in what many are calling a new multi-polar world. However, this new wave of south-to-south solidarity also challenges what once was Washington’s unipolar stranglehold on global politics.
During the electoral campaign leading up to the May 6 elections in Britain, immigration proved to be an explosive issue, second only to concerns about the recession. For the 88,000 Latin American immigrants living in the country, hopes for immigration reform hang in the balance of these elections. However, much like in the United States, instead of campaign platforms that offered practical solutions to the issue, a reactionary hard-fisted rhetoric dominated the political landscape. The unwieldy elections have produced an uncomfortable coalition from both sides of Britain's political spectrum, with its immigration policies yet to be defined.
Brazil’s former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso visited Cornell University on April 7 to give a lecture, talk to the press, and receive yet another academic award. The onetime Marxist sociologist, now the political leader of the centrist Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), and one of the North’s favorite neoliberal statesmen, Cardoso commands boundless respect in the international arena. He frequently airs his views in editorial pages and lecture podiums all over the world, but back in Brazil, Cardoso inspires rather less awe, which could have an impact on Brazil's upcoming election.
In March, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva controversially called for an end to the hunger strike by Cuban dissident and political prisoner Guillermo Fariñas, asking him and other prisoners to respect the course of justice in Cuba. Lula's detractors decry his comments as proof of a weak commitment to human rights and promotion of democracy abroad. But despite the clumsy public justification, Lula’s position on the Fariñas affair is underpinned by a no-nonsense pragmatism that has converted Brazil into Latin America’s new heavyweight.