George W. Bush trip to Brazil.

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SouthAmerica, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. .

    March 1, 2007

    SouthAmerica: I just saw the enclosed article on the front page of “A Folha de Sao Paulo” dated March 1, 2007.

    “Manhattan Connection” a program made here in Manhattan for distribution on Brazilian television it will broadcast in Brazil right before George W. Bush arrives in Brazil for a quick visit – the program will be very anti-Bush and his administration.

    I know very well two of the people responsible for the production of “Manhattan Connection” weekly program – I did work for a few years with Lucas Mendes, and Lúcia Guimarães when both of them were working for Globo TV in New York City in the late 1980’s. And I met Caio Blinder - the other producer of the program - a few times at parties of friends here in New Jersey.

    The website of their weekly program is at:

    http://globosat.globo.com/gnt/programas/oprograma.asp?gid=19


    The only problem is that just one "one-hour television program" is not enough to cover everything that George W. Bush and his gang has screwed up not only in the USA, but also around the world.



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    28/02/2007
    "Manhattan Connection" celebra 14 anos com programação "anti-Bush"
    A Folha de Sao Paulo

    O "Manhattan Connection" (exibido aos domingos, às 23h, pela GNT) comemora no próximo domingo (4) 14 anos de programação no ar.

    Para celebrar a data, os apresentadores vão abrir o programa falando sobre o vice-presidente dos Estados Unidos, Dick Cheney.

    Em seguida, a pauta segue com a onda de sucesso de programas "anti-Bush", que apostam no ataque ao presidente dos Estados Unidos, George W. Bush.

    A Fox News e o apresentador Bill O'Reilly vêm repercutindo uma série de agressões ao governo americano. A rede MSNBC e o apresentador Keith Olbermann também já faturaram com o assunto --seu programa "Countdown" teve uma alta de 86% na audiência no ano passado.

    O "Manhattan Connection" é apresentado por Lucas Mendes, Caio Blinder, Lúcia Guimarães, Ricardo Amorim e Diogo Mainardi.


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  2. .

    March 6, 2007

    SouthAmerica: Brazilians are planning big demonstrations against George W. Bush during his trip to Brazil.

    The average Brazilian would prefer that George W. Bush would not go to Brazil during his coming trip to South America.


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    Los Angeles Times – March 6, 2007
    “Bush to visit Latin America, Chavez's backyard”
    The president's trip is a bid to counter the growing regional sway of the Venezuelan leader.

    By Maura Reynolds, Patrick J. McDonnell and Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writers


    WASHINGTON — President Bush, eager to counter the growing influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, declared Monday that he was heading to Latin America this week as a social reformer committed to alleviating poverty and social injustice.

    The emphasis on addressing inequality marks a shift for the president, who has been assailed for stressing free trade and democracy south of the border and ignoring the social ills that continue to stymie the region.

    "For too long and in too many places, opportunity in Latin America has been determined by the accident of birth rather than by the application of talents and initiative," Bush said in a speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

    Bush is set to leave Thursday on a weeklong hemispheric trek that is to include stops in Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Guatemala and Mexico.

    Bush's itinerary doesn't include Venezuela, but the pugnacious Chavez, who has used his oil riches to take up the mantle of Fidel Castro and generations of Yanqui-bashers, looms large in a region Washington has historically considered its "backyard."

    With no major trade deal or political breakthrough imminent, Bush in effect has signaled his intention to present a counter-version of Chavez's well-crafted image of a social crusader standing up to U.S. "imperialism" at every opportunity.

    However, Bush, whose poll numbers are at least as bad in Latin America as at home, is likely to meet skepticism and protests as he tries to portray a kinder, gentler face of U.S. policy.

    "Evidently the principal reason for Bush's trip to the region is to try and put back together the United States' network of alliances in Latin America, where Chavez's influence is stronger each day," said Atilio Boron, an Argentine political analyst.

    A top Bush administration official rejected the widely held notion in Latin America that the president's longest trip to the region is aimed at checking the influence of Chavez.

    "We want to remind people that there is another side to U.S. policy," said the senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    While the Bush administration has been tied down in the Middle East, Chavez has helped redraw Latin America's political map, in large part by doling out billions of dollars' worth of oil subsidies for allied nations and re-energizing socialist strategies consigned to the scrap heap a decade ago. Critics call his influence overblown, but Chavez has befriended a new generation of populist and leftist leaders and inspired political allies from Panama City to Santiago, Chile.

    Chavez has also reached out to U.S. archenemy Iran, embarked on a buying spree of Russian arms and cemented an oil deal with China, at a time when Chinese trade in the region is surging and Asia is seen as an alternative to U.S. markets.

    Chavez's voluble followers have vowed to take to the streets during Bush's trip, just as tens of thousands applauded Chavez's tirades against "Mr. Danger" during the U.S. president's 2005 trip, in which a disappointed Bush failed to persuade South America's major economic powers to join a hemispheric trade zone.

    Unlike most of the president's previous trips to the region, this one is not built around a large multinational conference. Instead, Bush will meet one-on-one with the leader of each nation and take time to visit cultural sites and engage long-marginalized minority and indigenous populations.

    Bush's first stop, Brazil, holds significance on several fronts, beyond that nation's position as Latin America's largest and most populous nation, and the world's ninth-largest economy.

    Washington and Brasilia are launching a biofuels partnership that could lessen the sway of Venezuela and its vast oil and gas reserves and heighten the regional standing of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Despite his left-wing roots as a labor leader, the Brazilian leader has embraced free-market policies and is viewed in the White House as a Bush ally who is a moderate alternative to Chavez.

    The prospective U.S.-Brazilian biofuels pact, with possible accords on future markets and technology sharing, constitutes the White House's first major foray into the raging Latin American energy debate. It also signals a shift, or at least a detour, from Washington's dominant post-Cold War concerns: drug interdiction, free trade and immigration.

    But despite the buzz about an "ethanol OPEC" composed of the two countries that produce about 70% of the world's ethanol, the administration faces a daunting task in countering Chavez's standing as a major supplier of crude oil in a world that still runs on petroleum.

    Even temperate leftist regimes, such as those in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, have maintained cordial relations with Chavez while pursuing a more measured path.

    Paying lip service to Chavez's anti-globalization rhetoric also provides regional leaders with "ideological cover" to appease their own leftist blocs, said Bruce Bagley, a political scientist at the University of Miami. Thus, Argentine President Nestor Kirchner's broadsides against the "dictatorship" of the International Monetary Fund draw no public rebuke from Washington.

    State Department officials have boasted of a Kennedy-esque "Pan-Americanism" for the 21st century, and Bush on Monday outlined a program offering tens of millions of dollars in scholarship aid and mortgage assistance, and a regional health initiative.

    But that promise is no match for Chavez's tangible largesse, be it cheap oil for Cubans, doctors and teachers for Bolivians or a $3-billion bond purchase to help prop up Argentina. Chavez also has promised subsidies to newly elected leftist governments in Ecuador and Nicaragua.

    In return, he has gained some measure of the international legitimacy he craves.

    He has embraced Iran and championed a political and economic bloc aligned against U.S. supremacy, and even his failed effort last year to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council provided him with a bully pulpit. In the meantime, the State Department denounced Venezuela last week as soft on drug trafficking.

    The Chavez-sponsored trip of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Latin America in January stunned many U.S. officials, whose view of Chavez's global evangelization quickly shifted from disparaging bemusement to alarm about a potential security threat.

    "That caught our attention," said U.S. Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere subcommittee.


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  3. .

    March 7, 2007

    SouthAmerica: During his visit to Brazil George W. Bush is going to suggest and ask president Lula to follow his lead and adopt the same miracle formula that he has adopted for the US economy. He is going to suggest that president Lula and the Brazilian Congress adopt large tax cuts for the rich in Brazil to achieve the same goals as in the United States – to destroy what is left of the middle class and make the wealthy richer than ever before.

    George W. Bush is going to show the world his “erudition” and deep knowledge of world history when he is visiting Brazil – when he mentions to the Brazilians public that Simon Bolivar (who helped Brazil win independence from Spain in the 1800s) - and Bush compares him to the U.S.'s own revolutionary war hero George Washington.

    Brazilians will love that comparison - and at the same time will showcase to the world George W. Bush's knowledge of Brazilian history.

    Having largely ignored Latin America during his six years in office, President George Bush is heading off on Mar. 8 on a week-long visit to Brazil. But, thanks to strong demand from China, many Latin American central banks are awash in dollars earned from record exports of commodities such as copper, iron ore, steel, soybeans, and wheat, so they're less dependent on U.S. largesse than they have been in decades.

    On the eve of his trip, Bush co-opted Chávez's revolutionary rhetoric by invoking the name of Simon Bolivar, Chávez' favorite revolutionary hero, who helped South American countries win independence from Spain in the 1800s. Bush compared him to the U.S.'s own revolutionary war hero George Washington. "It is our mission," Bush said in a speech delivered to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Mar. 5, "to complete the revolution they began on our two continents." He said that tens of millions in the hemisphere remain mired in poverty. "In an age of growing prosperity and abundance, this is a scandal," Bush said, that "has led some to question the value of democracy."

    And he added: democracy has been wonderful for most countries in South America in the last 20 years – democracy has been an equalizer in South America for most of the population – today most South Americans have the right to be poor and live in poverty – and poverty has been spreading in South America like the plague.

    He also added: U.S. assistance to the region, currently around $1.6 billion annually, is set to drop next year. And the biggest chunk of that aid is aimed not at poverty relief but at helping Colombia battle its citizens with attack helicopters, thanks, machine guns, bombs, poisons that can be dropped from airplanes and give cancer and other diseases to a lot of poor people, and so on….(on its effort to help Colombia to kill a lot of their population – it’s a new form of birth control.)



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    Business Week
    Global Business - March 7, 2007
    What Can Bush Bring Latin America?
    As he heads off on a tour of the region, some observers wonder whether he has the political muscle to offer more than goodwill
    By: Geri Smith

    Having largely ignored Latin America during his six years in office, President George Bush is heading off on Mar. 8 on a week-long visit to Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico in an attempt to restore relations and counter the growing influence of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

    He's planning to launch a biofuels initiative with Brazil, discuss a proposed free-trade pact with Uruguay, promise continued anti-drug assistance to Colombia, provide encouragement for Guatemala's young democracy, and discuss immigration reform and border security with Mexico's new President, Felipe Calderón.

    Bush is also bringing along a delegation of businesspeople, led by First Brother Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida. They will meet with their Brazilian counterparts to explore trade and investment opportunities in South America's largest economy.

    Dead-End Talks?

    But it's not clear what Bush can really accomplish on his longest-ever visit to the region. Thanks to strong demand from China, many Latin American central banks are awash in dollars earned from record exports of commodities such as copper, iron ore, steel, soybeans, and wheat, so they're less dependent on U.S. largesse than they have been in decades.

    The smaller, poorer countries that could use some aid are unlikely to get much relief, since U.S. assistance to the region, currently around $1.6 billion annually, is set to drop next year. And the biggest chunk of that aid is aimed not at poverty relief but at helping Colombia battle drug trafficking and a 40-year-old leftist insurgency
    Although the U.S. and Uruguay signed a trade and investment agreement in January, Bush is unlikely to win a renewal of trade-negotiating authority from the Democratic-controlled Congress in July. That will make it difficult for him to deliver on free-trade agreements that have already been signed with Colombia, Peru, and Panama—much less forge a new one with Uruguay.

    Even the splashiest initiative of the trip, an agreement with Brazil to jointly promote the worldwide adoption of ethanol and other biofuels, may fall short of its promise. That's because Bush cannot exempt Brazil from a congressionally mandated 54% import tax on the sugar cane-based ethanol Brazil would like to sell to the U.S. The two countries together produce 70% of the world's ethanol, and Bush wants to work with Brazil to help countries in Central America and the Caribbean start their own alternative fuel production programs to reduce their dependence on imported oil—including subsidized oil currently being sent to them by Chávez.

    Two Revolutionaries

    Indeed, the specter of Chávez lies behind many of Bush's initiatives. Chávez has used Venezuela's oil wealth to win allies throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. He has bought more than $1.5 billion worth of Argentine bonds to help out fellow leftist President Nestor Kirschner and has offered to buy bonds from Ecuador, which expelled California-based Occidental Petroleum last year and a few months ago elected a new leftist President, Rafael Correa.

    Chávez also encouraged Bolivian President Evo Morales, another leftist leader, to nationalize natural gas reserves that once belonged to foreign companies and charge key customers, including Brazil, higher prices for the fuel. Bush, whom Chávez has characterized as the "devil," is also concerned by the Venezuelan leader's close ties with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who visited Caracas and two other Latin American capitals in January.

    On the eve of his trip, Bush co-opted Chávez's revolutionary rhetoric by invoking the name of Simon Bolivar, Chávez' favorite revolutionary hero, who helped South American countries win independence from Spain in the 1800s. Bush compared him to the U.S.'s own revolutionary war hero George Washington. "It is our mission," Bush said in a speech delivered to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Mar. 5, "to complete the revolution they began on our two continents." He said that tens of millions in the hemisphere remain mired in poverty. "In an age of growing prosperity and abundance, this is a scandal," Bush said, that "has led some to question the value of democracy."

    Doubts About Trade

    In his Mar. 5 speech, Bush pledged to spend $385 million to help underwrite home mortgages for working families in Central and South America, and another $75 million to teach English to young Latin Americans and support programs to send them to the U.S. for further study. The U.S. is already providing $885 million in aid to El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay in exchange for promises to invest in education, health, and governance programs.

    In June, Bush is sending a U.S. Navy medical ship to the region to treat 85,000 patients and carry out up to 1,500 surgeries. "We're helping to increase opportunity by relieving debt and opening up trade, encouraging reform, and delivering aid that empowers the poor and the marginalized," Bush said.

    Washington has long pressed the region to open up to trade and investment to promote economic growth and job creation, but many Latins are frustrated by the lack of progress. A recent poll conducted in 18 countries by Chile-based Latinobarometro shows that only 38% of Latin Americans are satisfied with the way their democracies are working.

    Although Latin Americans may be skeptical of the benefits of free trade, it's about all Washington has to offer them these days. "Bush is a lame-duck President who has lost control of Congress, so it's hard to see what else he has to offer Latin America right now," says David Fleischer, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Brasilia, Brazil. But, he adds, "At least he will show that the U.S. hasn't forgotten completely about its neighbors to the south."

    Smith is BusinessWeek's Mexico bureau chief.



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  4. Well, it seems not much has changed from the United Fruit Company.

    The mass murder of Guatemala, the assistance to Argentinean death squads, the bay of pigs, the blatant support of pinochet.
    Kissinger is a war criminal, more amoral than any nazi.
    The nazi's believed in what they were doing, a grey distinction perhaps.

    All, under the most dubious of motives, taking a countries resources from them, 'cos uncle sam knows best, how to manage them , and provide a standard payoff to their patsies.

    Vietnam was such a nation, but too difficult to control.
    South america, a place that, by rights, should be heaven on earth, is a cesspool of corruption, appalling management and , well, death squads.

    And us influence is on top of the debacle, its a bloody disgrace, their isnt a move in southamerca that has occured without the sticky fingerprints of the united states government, attempting to acheive fuck-knows what, apart from more mass murder.
     
  5. Excellent Commentary...As Usual ........

    The more bottom line issue with regards to Brazil and the USA is the solid foundation for renewable energy.

    Brazil is number one in the world with regards to its citizens use of annually renewable fuels for transportation....

    Brazil...and other Latin American countries have a true comparative advantage with regards to being able to produce more volume per land unit...

    Until the enzymes are cheap enough for cellulose break down with regards to non food competing plants such as switchgrass which can thrive on marginal lands that are not largely interfering with food production..and non tropical climates are ok etc...the US Brazil association has the muster to jump start the full integration of ethanol fuels...

    Furthermore because of the dire financial needs of the Latin American countries...it would be a huge financial plus to keep what would have been fossil fuel money within their own boundaries ....Also their vehicle counts are low enough such that it is possible for them to use vehicles powered solely by ethanol...

    The US/Brazil co-development of ethanol fuels can be a very positive economic development for the Latin American region...and thus the world...

    ....................................................................................................

    Land use and food/fuel competition is just not very efficient...however when a industry is new and fraught with risks...the private market is not going to risk its economics without a backup...that back up being an alternative market for their products in the event that other technologies...law changes etc...put a great deal of money ..time ...and effort in jeopardy...

    This is why at the onset this industry will have to plow through the food/fuel land use issues....

    The environmental issues with regards to monoculture etc. will have to live with the coexistance of ethanol fuel production....

    And what is sure to come/has come... are higher land values...both for prime agricultural...and soon to come marginal lands for cellulosic substrates such as switchgrass...

    The highest fuel content renewable plant is algae....but just who is going to fund this approach ? Sadly enough...the money spent on the Iraq war could have funded such a project....

    Furthermore entrepreneurship and enterprise embracement is a far better approach than bombs and occupation...such as is being used in Iraq for its oil resources......
     
  6. From the 2nd post "President Bush, eager to counter the growing influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, declared Monday that he was heading to Latin America this week as a social reformer committed to alleviating poverty and social injustice."

    Generalissimo Bush is going to talk about alleviating poverty, lol. From Penn State, Poverty in America Project:


    "Recent Census estimates reveal that the population percentage considered severely poor has reached a 32-year high. Between 2000 and 2005, the percent living at half of poverty-level income increased by 26%. The descent into destitution spares no community or group in society. America’s urban, suburban and rural communities are all witnesses to the growth of what adds up to the “abject poor.” "

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    I guess Generalissimo Bush can tell everyone how tax cuts for the rich is what gets one out of poverty. Or how free trade and outsourcing can create jobs even though it didn't happen in the US. Or just get the government to change the definition of poverty as just a lack of funds and declare all forms of poverty has been eliminated.
     
  7. .

    March 7, 2007

    SouthAmerica: I am sorry for George W. Bush because he is going to be more confused than ever during this trip to South and Central America when he tries to mention the independence heroes of each country – and to make matters even worse he is surrounded by a group of incompetent people who probably don’t have a clue as well about the history of these countries.

    The people at the State Department could simplify things for George W. Bush and plan his trip to only the following countries: Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Venezuela.

    If they had done that then he could mention Simon Bolivar as their Liberator and he would be right since Simon Bolivar was the Liberator of Colombia (1819), Ecuador (1822), Bolivia (1825), and Venezuela (1830).

    But the State Department had to make things harder for George W. Bush and they programmed his trip instead to Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Guatemala and Mexico.

    And Simon Bolivar was the Liberator of only Colombia from that list, and to complicate things even further: Brazil got its independence from Portugal and not Spain, and Uruguay got its independence from Brazil.

    This trip to South America is going to be complicated and like hell for George W. Bush – remember it took him and his advisers 5 years to figure out that there are Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq and that Osama Bin Ladden is a Sunni leader.


    Brazil:

    The architect of Brazilian independence was a Brazilian named Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva – and Brazil got its independence from Portugal.

    Now George W. Bush is really thinking - where Portugal is located? In Africa? in Asia? or where?


    Uruguay:

    For a century or so, during the colonial times, Uruguay (at that time called the Cisplatine Province) was in the middle of a tug of war between the Portuguese and the Spanish. Eventually, Uruguay became an independent state, constituting a buffer zone between Argentina and Brazil.

    Brazil lost the Cisplatine Province after a war against Argentina and the settlement of that war in 1828 resulted in the Cisplatine Province to become Uruguay. On August 25, 1825, Juan Antonio Lavalleja and his little group of brave men issued a declaration of independence. After a three-year fight, a peace treaty between Argentina and Brazil was brokered by Britain and signed on August 28, 1828 guaranteeing Uruguay's independence from Brazil.


    Mexico:

    At least George W. Bush knows Mexican history well, and he knows that the independence of Mexico it was declared by Miguel Hidalgo (1810) with the help of the other national heroes and liberators of Mexico: “Pancho Villa” (B 1878 – D 1923) and Emiliano Zapata (B 1879 – D 1919).


    It is a good thing that the State Department did not schedule George W. Bush to also go on this trip to Argentina, Chile and Peru – because that would confuse George W. Bush even further and would have required that he learn the name of even another Liberator – Jose de San Martin.

    Jose de San Martin was the main historical figure regarding the independence of Argentina (1816), Chile (1818), and Peru (1824).



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    The State Department is supposed to help the US president and the next time they should simplify things for George W. Bush by scheduling his trip to South America to only the following countries: Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Venezuela.

    And to complicate matters even further on this current trip – the language of Brazil is Portuguese and not Spanish.


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  8. .

    March 8, 2007

    SouthAmerica: During his trip to Brazil George W. Bush will require 1,000 police and military people to protect him and make sure he is safe until he moves on to the next stop on his current trip.



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    “Mil homens da PM reforçarão segurança de Bush em SP”
    A Folha de Sao Paulo – Brasil
    07/03/2007

    As Polícias Civil, Militar e Federal, além do Exército, participarão da segurança e policiamento durante a visita do presidente norte-americano George W. Bush ao Brasil. O americano chega a São Paulo nesta quinta-feira, onde se reúne com o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva na sexta-feira.

    Para a segurança da primeira-dama dos Estados Unidos, Laura Bush, também serão alocados homens da 1ª Delegacia de Proteção de Dignitários da Deatur. A equipe ficará responsável pela checagem de todo o credenciamento, além de cuidar da segurança a primeira-dama.

    A Polícia Civil de São Paulo disponibilizará 300 homens, 50 viaturas, uma delegacia móvel, além de seis atiradores de elite.

    A Polícia Militar de São Paulo alocará mil homens, 300 veículos --entre carros, motos e veículos pesados--, além de 24 cavalos para cuidar da segurança de Bush.

    A PM deve ficar responsável pelo policiamento do hotel onde o americano ficará hospedado --provavelmente o Hilton, na zona oeste--, pelas visitas de agenda, e segurança dos deslocamentos e do aeroporto.

    Deslocamento

    Bush chegará a São Paulo na tarde de quinta-feira com 300 policiais. O trajeto do aeroporto internacional de Guarulhos (Grande São Paulo) até o hotel deve ser feito de carro porque Bush só usa o seu helicóptero.

    O trânsito nas ruas e avenidas onde a comitiva presidencial for passar deverá ser interditado, assim como já é feito com o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. A previsão é que a interdição prejudique ainda mais o tráfego na capital paulista.


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  9. .

    March 9, 2007

    SouthAmerica: I was just watching the BBC News and they were showing how hostile the demonstrations against George W. Bush were yesterday in Brazil – and Brazil was supposed to be the friendly portion of his trip.

    George W. Bush is supposed to arrive in Colombia only on Sunday, but yesterday they also had very hostile demonstrations against him in Colombia.

    The demonstration in Brazil has turned very violent and thousands of demonstrators were yelling “Bush go home.”

    It is interesting what is happening regarding ethanol in the current Bush trip to Brazil – I have the feeling that someone in the US government (at the State Department) has been reading what I have been writing about ethanol on this Forum.



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    “Bush to sign biofuels pact in Brazil”
    By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
    AP – Associated Press
    March 9, 2007


    SAO PAULO, Brazil - President Bush sees the new agreement with Brazil on ethanol as a way to boost alternative fuels production in the Americas and get more cars running on something other than gasoline.

    Demonstrators upset with Bush's visit here worry that the president and his biofuels buddy, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, really have visions of an OPEC-like cartel on ethanol.

    While Bush's nemesis in Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is using his vast oil wealth to court allies in the region, Bush is sealing the deal Friday on an ethanol agreement with Brazil where nearly eight in 10 new cars run on fuel made from sugar cane.

    Call it ethanol diplomacy.

    Brazil is the first stop on Bush's eighth trip to Latin America, which also includes visits to Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. On his 45-minute ride from the airport to his hotel on Thursday night, Bush's motorcade sped by a dozen or so gas stations where drivers in this traffic-clogged city can pump either gasoline or ethanol.

    Bystanders gawked at Bush's limousine, but only a few people waved. Anti-American sentiment runs high in Brazil, especially over the war in Iraq. Bush missed the demonstrations earlier in the day protesting his visit.

    Riot police fired tear gas and beat some protesters with batons after more than 6,000 people held a largely peaceful march through the financial district of Sao Paulo. About 4,000 agents, including Brazilian troops and FBI and U.S. Secret Service officers, are working to secure Bush's stay in the city that lasts about 24 hours.

    Undeterred by protests, Bush says he's on a goodwill tour to talk about making sure the benefits of democracy — in the form of better housing, health care and education — are available to all Latin Americans, not just the wealthy.

    He's visiting a community center in a neighborhood where the ultra rich live in close proximity to the desperately poor. U.S. companies have donated equipment to the center where Bush plans to highlight programs to give poor and disadvantaged youth a way forward in life.

    In Latin America, however, Bush's trip is widely viewed as a way for the president to counter the influence of Chavez, the populist ally of Cuba's Fidel Castro, who has led a leftward political shift in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

    To taunt Bush, the Venezuelan leader will speak at an "anti-imperialist" rally in a soccer stadium on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, about 40 miles across the Plate River from Montevideo, where Bush will meet Uruguay's president, Tabor Vazquez.

    While in Sao Paulo, Bush also will visit a fuel depot, operated by a subsidiary of the state-owned Petrobras, where about 100 trucks come and go daily.

    Some protesters, carrying stalks of sugar cane, protested the ethanol agreement, which is being formally signed by officials with the State Department and the Brazilian foreign ministry. The demonstrators warned that increased ethanol production could lead to social unrest because most operations are run by wealthy families or corporations that reap the profits, while the poor are left to cut the cane with machetes.

    "Bush and his pals are trying to control the production of ethanol in Brazil, and that has to be stopped," said Suzanne Pereira dos Santos of Brazil's Landless Workers Movement.

    The White House dismisses talk that the ethanol agreement between Bush and Silva is aimed at setting up an "OPEC of Ethanol" cartel led by Washington and Brasilia.

    Bush says he wants to work with Brazil, a pioneer in ethanol production for decades, to push the development of alternative fuels in Central America and the Caribbean. He and Silva also want to see standards set in the growing industry to help turn ethanol into an internationally traded commodity.

    "It's not about production-sharing, it's about encouraging development and encourage the Caribbean and Central American countries to get into the game," Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said.

    In January, Bush called on Congress to require the annual use of 35 billion gallons of ethanol and other alternative fuels such as bio-diesel by 2017, a fivefold increase over current requirements. To help meet the goal, the president also is pushing research into making ethanol from material such as wood chips and switchgrass.

    One roadblock in the Bush-Silva ethanol talks is a 54-cent tariff the United States has imposed on every gallon of ethanol imported from Brazil. Bush says it's not up for discussion. The administration says the tariff, which makes sugarcane ethanol more expensive in America, is needed to subsidize U.S. corn growers ramping up production of ethanol in the United States.

    Silva, who has been invited to the Camp David presidential retreat on March 31, says he'll complain to Bush about the tariff, which he likens to other agricultural trade barriers the United States and Europe have in place.

    Also on the agenda were efforts to salvage the World Trade Organization talks — the so-called Doha round — that collapsed in discord last summer over farm subsidies and other disputes.


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    #10     Mar 9, 2007