Contemporary Brazil Essay
Brazil was subjugated by the Portuguese for nearly three hundred years. It obtained independence in 1822 from the Portuguese. In the year 1889 Brazil became a republic. Brazil has the largest population and size in the South American continent. In the year 1985, civilian rule was established in Brazil. This ended military rule, which had been in place for more than fifty years. It is to the credit of Brazilian society that this transformation was peaceful. Both agriculture and industry are given equal importance and there have been major undertakings to promote the development of the areas lying in its interior.
This country has made optimal use of its considerable natural resources and abundant labor, which has ensured its emergence as a regional and economic leader in South America. Nonetheless, the disparity between the rich and the poor in Brazil is very great (Brazil , 2006 ). On the 21st of April, 1960 Brasilia was made the official capital of the country. This was an indication of the willingness among its rulers to develop the interior of the country. Janio da Silva Quadros came to power with a margin of victory that had exceeded all previous records.
Unfortunately, he was an unpredictable person who believed in autocratic rule. His measures were met with tremendous opposition and all his attempts at reform were nullified. He relinquished office after ruling for just seven months. He was succeeded by Vice President Joao Goulart, whose penchant for a leftist administration was undermined by political strife and economic turmoil that appeared to be beyond redemption. In the year 1964, he was removed from office due to the intervention of the military and General Castelo Branco was elected by Congress to rule in his place.
The power and influence enjoyed by Goulart’s supporters was revoked and the government banned all political parties (Brazil , 2004). In the year 1967, a new constitution was formulated and enacted, at the same time Branco was succeeded by Marshal Costa e Silva. The succeeding year, Congress was prorogued by Costa e Silva, who became the sole ruler of Brazil. Costa e Silva was succeeded in 1969 by General Emilio Garrastazu Medici and Brazil was rife with leftist and rightist terrorism.
Torture by the military police became routine and the government created killer squads to stamp out dissent. There was a partial abatement of this violence in the 1970’s and at that point of time General Ernesto Geisel came to power. This transpired in the year 1974, however, the Brazilian economy had taken a severe beating and the country had earned the dubious distinction of being the largest debtor in the world (Brazil , 2004). On the 31st of October, in this year, a number of politicians, belonging to Brazil’s lower chamber of congress made a very significant proposal.
It dealt with amending the constitution to permit an incumbent of any executive post to seek unlimited re election to that office (Indefinite re-election in Brazil? , 2007). To make this possible, Arlindo Chinaglia, the president of the lower chamber of the Partido dos Trabalhadores promoted a re-election proposal. This bill had progressed to some extent through congress. Furthermore, members of the ruling PT commenced a campaign to permit President Lula da Silva to contest in 2010. As such he had been re elected in the year 2006 for the second consecutive time.
The extant law does not permit a third consecutive term, although it allows him to contest after an interruption of at least one term (Indefinite re-election in Brazil? , 2007). Despite the fact that Lula has reiterated in public, his disinclination to seek re election for a third consecutive term, PT members are intent on making him rule for a third consecutive term. The efforts of the President of the lower chamber to amend the constitution indicate the seriousness with which such change is being sought (Indefinite re-election in Brazil? , 2007). President Lula is the first president who belongs to the working class.
He assumed office on the 1st of January this year and his avowed objective was to rapidly accelerate the growth of Brazil’s economy and to reduce the gap between the millions who existed in a state of poverty and the rich who constituted a privileged few. It is the principal goal of his PAC or Growth Acceleration Programme to continue the good work in his second term. Lula is perhaps one of the rarest leaders in the comity of nations who has really lived up to his promises. The economic health of the nation has improved to no end. Economic growth is exhibiting an extraordinary increase.
Inflation, the curse of those who live below the poverty line has been reined in and there has been a substantial decrease in public debt. Moreover, the Brazilian Central Bank’s Selic rate diminished to 11. 25 percent. Economic growth has brought about a number of measures aimed at helping the majority of the Brazilians. One such improvement is the allocation of enhanced funds for health. Accordingly, the allocation for the period from 2008 to 2012 was increased to 13. 7 billion dollars and will be increased by another 9. 132 billion dollars in the years 2012 and 2013 (BRAZIL: Press Review of Major Political Events , 2007 ).
The Total Telecommunications market in Brazil has grown in leaps and bounds. The year 2006, was witness to the fact that services like Broadband Internet, VoIP and Mobile Telephony were growing at unprecedented rates. These sectors of the economy were also at the forefront. Some of the extant sectors like the fixed telephone service sector depicted negative growth, due to the proliferation of mobile telephony and VoIP services ( The Brazil Total Telecommunications Market Shows Considerable Growth , 2007). There has been a marked substitution of fixed telephony by mobile telephony.
Although, the telecommunications sector is dominated by telephony related to local and long distance calls, in respect of the medium to long term component of this sector, mobile telephony will in all likelihood emerge as the principal service. This prediction is based on the observation that fixed telephony generates lesser revenue and has lower traffic than mobile telephony ( The Brazil Total Telecommunications Market Shows Considerable Growth , 2007). The proliferation of the home internet users in Brazil has been astounding. There has been a four percent monthly increase.
The number of internet users as of September this year has been in the vicinity of twenty million. The average number of hours spent on the internet is twenty – two hours per citizen. Moreover, Brazilians spent more time browsing the net than the people of Australia, UK, US and Germany. Approximately, thirty – seven million Brazilians ha access to the internet and there had been a tremendous increase of seventy – three percent in the number of home style portals. Tourism and automobile portals were not far behind in this unprecedented growth at sixty – seven and fifty – seven percent (Brazil Sept 2007 Home Internet Users Up 4.
1 Pct M/M , 2007). In the month of October 2007, Brazil traded excellently. This resulted in a trade surplus of thirty – five billion dollars, which constitutes a ten percent increase over what had been achieved in the same period in the preceding year. In the sphere of exports there was a twenty percent increase in the previous month in comparison to what had been earned in the corresponding period the previous year. These exemplary export earnings stood at fifteen and a half billion dollars. In the area of imports, there was a significant improvement over the corresponding period in 2006.
In this manner both domestic trade and foreign trade have improved greatly in this year (Brazil’s trade surplus grows to 34 billion dollars , 2007). Brazil’s foreign trade resulted in the appreciation of its currency against the US dollar. It was very strong in its foreign trade with greatly enhanced exports. Moreover, the strengthening of the local currency Real improved imports tremendously. In the present year, the real appreciated by twenty – one percent in comparison to the US dollar. This rendered consumer products that had been imported highly competitive.
There has been a growth of nearly five percent in its gross domestic product, in comparison to the previous year. This indicates the continued growth of its economy (Brazil’s trade surplus shrinks in October as currency strengthens, 2007). Brazil is not only the largest and most populated country in South America, but it finds a place amongst the largest countries of the world, both in area as well as population. Brazil dominates South America, as it comprises around half of the South American continent. Brasilia is its capital and Sao Paulo is its largest city.
Its environment, economy and culture are truly extensive due to its tremendous size and diversity (Dickenson & Eakin, 2007). References The Brazil Total Telecommunications Market Shows Considerable Growth . (2007, November 1). M2 Press WIRE (c) 2007 M2 Communications, Ltd. Brazil . (2004). Retrieved November 25, 2007, from The Columbia Encyclopedia: http://www. credoreference. com/entry. jsp? xrefid=4263045&secid=. 5. 3. – Brazil . (2006 ). Retrieved November 25, 2007, from In CIA World Factbook: http://www. credoreference. com/entry/5909675Brazil