Brazil forges its own path but not without hiccups


Elaine Kuang

Brazilians storm the Capitol as President Lula takes reign over the country.

Ibrahim Saxe

Brazil has been a nation in chaos since it gained its independence. Recently after the new President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was inaugurated, an attempted coup took place within a few days. On January 8th, the protesters stormed the Capitol, taking control of the main areas of all three branches of power in the nation. The attempt failed, but not after the military sided with the President and dropped tear gas from helicopters and arrested hundreds of protesters. Many citizens drew parallels to this event, like the 1964 coup, which was successful. Then, President Goulart had promised to nationalize the nation’s oil refineries and then shortly was overthrown. Lincoln Gordon, the U.S. ambassador at the time, had sent support to the military to help overthrow the government according to declassified CIA documents.  

Lula had recently been cleared to run for the office after being cleared from corruption charges that stemmed from Operation Car Wash. The Intercept has reported that the United States was involved in planting evidence to get him and members of his party arrested.

Reuters has reported that Lula has taken steps to begin the nationalization of oil. According to the California Energy Commission, California gets 4.2% of its oil from Brazil in 2020 and its nationalization could lead to higher gas prices. Brazil is also the world’s largest sugar exporter and the U.S. receives 621 million metric tons.

Brazil under Lula is expected to make a joint currency with Argentina. A move inline with his proposals to try to unify the continent via a single currency. Given the history, he runs a thin line as the last head of state to make such a proposal, Moammar Gadhafi, had his nation invaded by NATO.

Brazil is also covered with parts of the Amazon Rain forest, but with climate change and deforestation threatening it, Lula decided to act. He would stop the deforestation calling it “inspired by facism.”

Brazilian stock markets crashed since Lula was named president. H has stated he would end poverty, and since he was last president, poverty dropped by 10%. He also was the main founder of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, BRICS. He plans to increase cooperation with those nations and reduce corruption with the United States. However, it is unclear whether the coup attempt will block or emboldened Lula’s efforts at Lulism.