Brazil in Ferment

January 15, 1962

Report Outline
Brazil's Economic Riches and Deficiencies
Landmarks in Political History of Brazil
Brazil's New Posture in World Affairs

Brazil's Economic Riches and Deficiencies

A state visit to Washington by President Joao Goulart of Brazil in February will turn attention to the affairs of one of the most Important partners of the United States in the Alliance for Progress. Brazil is potentially a rich country, but it has long been plagued by economic and fiscal difficulties resulting in large part from its failure to develop its natural resources more fully and to diversify its production. Now Communist influence is growing ominously, particularly in the impoverished northeastern region where conditions have given Castroism strong appeal among the masses.

Francisco Juliao, founder of the Peasant Leagues active in that section, has avowed that he is a Communist and that he intends to “transplant the Cuban and Russian regimes to Brazil.” Carlos Luis Prestes, leader of the outlawed Brazilian Communist Party, told an East Berlin audience, Nov. 29, that “Our party … will lead Brazil the way of Cuba.” The precarious economic position of Brazil may make it unwise to treat such statements as mere rhetoric. In any case, the country's need of economic reform and development aid is not in doubt.

Goulart has been handicapped in initiating measures to improve the country's economic status. A constitutional amendment adopted last Sept. 2, eight days after President Janio Quadros resigned, transferred most executive powers from the President to a Premier. The amendment had the desired effect of overcoming opposition of the armed forces to Goulart's succession from the vice presidency to the presidency, but it appears also to have slowed down the processes of government.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jan. 26, 1966  Brazil: Democracy or Dictatorship
Jan. 15, 1962  Brazil in Ferment
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean