The reconstruction of Paralamas's Herbert Vianna
CAETANO VELOSO • US Release of "LIVE IN 13AH1A"
Sunday, October 27 7:00 PM I The Spreckles Theatre, 121 Broadway, San Diego.
• • US CD Release of "LIVE IN 104.11/k", previously released in Brasil as "Noites do Norte atiVivo", is inspired by his admiration for Joaquin Nabucci, one of the leaders of Brazilian fight against slavery in the 19th century.Veloso performs songs from African drums,Arnerican beats to countless local Brazilian styles. From songs about slavery to songs about love...
An unforgettable night, a show not to be missed...
"...Veloso's slinky melodies incorporate everything from -t000til)sYchedelia to goody IanfilYAfritan rhythms tof!PaN .SDAY Sii WO I undulating samba?
Price. $85 $55 $35 Tickets available through Ticket Master II (619) 220-TIXS- (714)740-2000-(213)480-3232 TowerRecords, RobinsonsMay. The Wherehouse, Tu Musica, Ritmo Latino or through www.Pelourinho.com Information (818) 566-1111 or wvvw.BrazilianNites.com V R 1
than Pacific 1ime -
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Election time again. After eight years of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and a mixed legacy of progress and broken promises, Brazilians are ready to choose their next president. The process is humming along quite smoothly and people will be voting electronically with little chance that Brazil will be getting a president chosen by the Supreme Court. No small feat when you consider that the military were the only ones allowed to become president up to 1985. Pre-election polls have been moodier than they normally are. Lula, the fourth-time hopeful, to be sure, has kept his lead (hovering around 35 percent) while the government candidate Jose Serra andthe Socialist Popular Party's Ciro Gomes have been alternating places in the second position. At the time of this writing, they were in a technical tie. According to the latest Vox Populi poll, Ciro gets 20 percent ofthe electorate preference followed by Serra with 19 percent. A second round of voting seems unavoidable and the Brazilian elite seem warming up to the idea of having leftist and former labor leader Lula at Brazil's helm. Our cover story suggests that this might be an idea whose time has come. RM Send mail to: P.O. Box 50536 - Los Angeles, CA 90050-0536 Ads/Editorial: (323) 255-8062 Info: (323) 255-8062 Fax: (323) 257-3487 Brazzil on line: http://www.brazzil.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher and Editor: Rodney Mello Assistant Editor: Leda Bittencourt Commercial Director: Airton Mandarino Art&Design Director: Marina Yoshie (email@example.com) Entertainment Editors: Sam & Harriet Robbins Book Review: Bondo Wyszpolski Music Editor: Bruce Gilman Brazil Bureau Chief: Marta Alvim E-mail: mItdalvim@yahoo.corn With the help of volunteers around the world TIME TO RENEW? Sorry, we don't send reminders. Look at the label to know when your subscription ends. BRAZZIL (ISSN 1091-868X) is published monthly by Brazzil 2039 N. Ave. 52, Los Angeles, CA, 90042-1024.Periodicals Postage rate paid at Los Angeles, CA. Single copy sold for $2. One year subscription for 12 issues is $3 (three dollars) in the U.S., $15 in Canada and Mexico, and $18 in all other countries. No back issues sold. Allow 5 to 7 weeks to receive your first issue. You may quote from or reprint any of the contents with proper copyright credit. Editorial submissions are welcome. Include a SASE (self addressed and stamped envelope) if you want your material mailed back. Brazzil assumes no responsibility for any claims made by its advertisers. The Library of Congress ISSN: 1524-4997 POST MASTER: Send address changes to BRAZZIL PO Box 50536 - Los Angeles, CA - 90050-0536
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Cover Lula hines and charms the elite Cover by Salvino Campos
Indians Pataxo take a break to celebrate
Woman Brazilians and the marriage gradient
Ecology The world's largest Rainforest National Park
Election Jose Serra shows some strength
Election Ciro Gomes takes off
Economy With a big help of the IMF
U Reaction The Yankee Right charges again
Economy Argentina yesterday, Brazil tomorrow
Bandiby Trying to understand Lamp& and cangago
In Portuguese Three short stories by Whisner Fraga
Tourism Mangue Seco and forget civilization
Book R view Luis F. Verissimo's The Club of Angels
42 44 54
Paralama's Herbert Vianna is back Food
Remi, composing with spices
Tribute The extraordinary life of Roberto Drummond - Part 2
09 Rapidinhas 24 letters 49 Cultural Pulse 51 Classifieds 52 That's Brazilian
Indians Party at the Mount The Patax6 ofthe south tip of the state of Bahia staged a large demonstration on August 19 to celebrate the third anniversary of the reoccupation of the Pascoal Mount, which they claim as a traditional indigenous land, the first anniversary ofthe building of the Resistance Monument, a symbol of the indigenous struggle in Brarecent land zil. reoccupation actions, and the creation of the PataxO Struggle and Resistance Front. About 350 indigenous people representing eight Pataxo villages took part in the demonstration. Allies from various movements and entities that support the struggla of the Patax6, among Attorney General, which Cimi, ANAI-Bahia, Cese. the Office of the Union of Bank Employees, the Teacher's Association. the Terra Viva organization, Funai and different churches also took part in the demonstration, The celebrations began with a ritual prayer, the tori dance, and chants of the Patax6 and Maxakali. Representatives ofthe Cahy village carried a large banner with the words "We Will Advance.The demonstration was coordinated by chief Joel Braz, who described the challenges posed by the organized actions of gunmen hired by farmers who invaded indigenous lands. "It is not an easy task to deal with gunmen and recover what we have lost— we have to hide in order not to die young.- said Joel, aware of the risks he faces for his courage and determination to fight for the territory of his people. When a car of the Brazilian Institute for the Ens ironment and Renewable Natural Resources (lbama) passed l's. the demonstratorsi" became outraged. lbama does not recognize the right of the Pataxo to the Pascoal Mount indigenous land and wants it to continue to be an environmental preservation area. The speeches delivered by the allies of the Pataxo were marked by words of solidarity to their struggle and rejection of the maneuvers of !barna. "Ibama's plans to appoint a new manager to the area arc preposterous... You should not allow people like lbamit's officials to come here... The Pataxii should expel all intruders from this area," said Guga, of the ANAI organization of Bahia. Jeferson, from the Terra Viva organization, said: "Your struggle has a remarkable meaning for all the indigenous peoples of Brazil Your enemies are still very active. They gave up their old strategy of giving you mirrors and knives and now they are offering you salaries. a car, a house.... The shared management scheme they are proposing is a scam. We support the position of the Resistance Front of saying no to !barna". Cimi's executive secretary, Egon :Heck. reiterated the full support and solidarity of the entity to the struggle of the Patax6. "who have become a symbol olhope for indigenous peoples and for all those who are fighting to change this country." Fun ai' s regional administrator, Sandro. criticized the attempts o Mama to divide the indigenous people. "The fight is not over, it isMS beginning." Sandro said. The leaders of the Patax6 people delivered courageous and firm. speeches. Dio the chiefof the Corumbauzinho village, warned lbamies officials not to try to stop indigenous people from doing what they have to do. The fight has begun now and will not stop here.Lidio Matari, chief of the Pio i village, asked the demonstrato 6
to support the Pataxd in their efforts to defend themselves from gunmen and reoccupy their land."! have received death threats, we are suffering. But I am happy now, because we will be able to rely on the help from our relatives." ChiefTimborana, from the Cahy village, spoke about the suffering that indigenous people are experiencing at the Cumuruxativa camp as they get ready to reoccupy their lands. "I have been threatened by gunmen and bandits. But we have our father Tup"a„ who will not let us die. We should support our relatives who reoccupied the Piqui land. If we have to fight physically, we will, if we have to die together, so be itl loselito. another leader, derided the Patax6 who signed lbatna's proposal for the "shared management" of the Pascoal Mount in April. -We should not accept any shady proposals. In the past, they' cheated our people with red ribbons and mirrors: today, they try to cheat us jobs, a car and a furnished house.The women delivered speeches also. Marlene Pata.xd said that the struggle ofher people is not a men's affair only. "It is not only the men who have a voice. We also have one. lam the mother of 13 children and we will not allow others to come here again. We kicked lbama out. Why would we allow an enemy inside our house now? This land is ours, we have the right to be here. We are willing to die before we give up. Every time an indigenous person dies, our fight grows!" Maria Lica, another Pataxo woman who is the mother o five children, one of which is still an infant, called on the Patax6 to unite after reporting that gunmen had once tried to prevent her from cooking for her children "We don't want no barren land. You expelled us from the forest and now you want to give us back a land that is barren!-, she angrily shouted to the gunmen, referring to the environmental degradation caused by farmers. At the end of the demonstration, the Pataxo issued a manifesto reiterating that the Pascoal Mount "was, is and will alw ays be the land ofthe Patax6" and asking the Brazilian Government -to demarcate the Patax6 territory." , This material was prepareded by Cimi — Indi Missionary Council
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Ecology Pretty and Conceited WILLIAMJAVIER NELSON A very attractive woman paraded herself before us, with a great deal ofself-admiration. as she boarded the airplane (we were all loading the airplane so we welcomed the diversion). Most of us stopped what e were doing to stare at her; all the more so as she seemed to be,of Latin American origin. I lazily glanced up, took note, and resumed, working. "What would she be in the Dominican Republic, Javier?' one of buddies asked me. "A five." „ We all chuckled. Soconeinded a ritual , which no doubt other Latino •guys (like me) have participated in. You see. Latinawomen, incase one hasn't heard, are extremely attractive and a trip to the Dominican •Republic (my home) or Brazil (yours) yields an array of stunningly beautiful women. Fortunately (for men in those countries), that counts. for great opportunities of meeting winsome females—unfortunatelk' (for women in those countries), it means competition from other stunningly beautiful women. However, Latina (Brazilian, etc.) women can take heart. If they can somehowgettotheUnited States things will look up considerably, for the secrethas long' been out: Latinas are in. Criolla women compare quite favorably to gringas in terms of beauty. Maybe it's the mixture of bloods, maybe it's the permanent tan, maybe it's the sensuality. I don't know, What I do know is that I have seen gringos falling for Latina women in the U.S. who wouldn't turn a head in Santo Domingo, Bahia or Sao Paulo. If that alone doesn't translate into a favorable situation, there is also this thing called the Marriage Gradient, which makes romantic liaisons with Latina women much easier than for Latino men. The Marriage Gradient stands for a custom quite common in the United States: Men habitually many women of a lower economic and/or occupational status than them. This means that it is quite acceptable fur a male engineer to marry a female secretary. But it is rare that a female lawyer would marry a male gardener. What this all means is that Latina women coming to th United States from less than optimal economic backgrounds can, i they play their cards right, wind up meeting a male of substantial economic means. Sociologists have longcomrnented on this phenomenon, noting that Latino men in the U.S. are usually far more alienated from the U.S. mainstream than Latina women. Moreover, intermarriage between Anglo-Saxons and people of Latin American ancestry higher than almost every other combination—and the great bulk of se marriages involve Latinas and gringos. [As Brazil has a number o rich folks who get to come to theU.S., the Marriage Gradient would still operate, if for no other reason than the fact that the U.S., wealthy as it is, possesses a number of gringos even richer than mos brasileiras.]
This was brought home to me once at the airport. Two gringos were ordering a meal and the Latina aitresses were getting along quite well with them— almost to the point of being asked out. Now these guys were both passengers, and both quite well-fixed. Right now, some Latina bombshells of note include Salma Hayek, Mia Maestro and Jennifer Lopez. Quite attractive to be sure—but any brasileiro knows that women like that positively abound in Brazil. So, if you have a young sister or daughter who is contemplating visiting the United States, prepare for her vision of her beauty to get a significant enhancement. Will it make her more conceited7NOtif you can get her back home again. William Javier Nelson, holds a Duke Ph.D. In Sociol and is of Dominican nationality. Letters (friendly or host Spanish or English) can be addressed to: eihbaeno2rieaol.eorn
Saving the Green mg that this was Brazil's contribution to the World Summiton ' Sustainable Development President held in Johannesburg, South Africa, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso announced on August 22 the creation of the largest rainforest national park in the world. The new green sanctuary covers 9.4 million acres an area the size of, Switzerland or Taiwan--ofthe Amazon alongthe border with Surinam and Guyana. This represents 1 percent of the Amazon and, according to the government, is just the first step of a more ambitious program, which will preserve 10 percent of the region. The Tumucumaque National Park shelters 12 percent of all primates living in the Brazilian Amazon like the black spider monkeys as well as jaguars, sloths, giant armadillos, anteaters and harpy owls. Scientists believe that at least eight primate species, 350 bird species and 37 types of lizard live in the park. A number of environmental groups helped create the park, including the World Wide Fund for Nature and Conservation International. Tumucumaque means "the rock on top of the mountain" in the language of the Apalai and Wayana Indians. The park is part of a package containing six environmental protection measures. Tumucumaque park is 568,000 acres larger than SlongaNational Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, gre,yiously the world's largest tropical park. According to the official news agency Agencia Brasil, from 1995 to 2000, Brazil almost doubled the green area it protects, from 15.3 million hectares to 29.5 million (135,600 square kilometers to 174,500 square kilometers in forestlands). "With the creation of Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, we are ensuring the protection of one of the most pristine forests remaining in the world," President Cardososaid. "Plants and animals that may be endangered elsewhere will continue to thrive in our forests forever." Cardoso also signed several laws regulatingthe use ofgenetic -material gathered from Brazil's immense variety of plant and animal species. A number ofenvironmental groups helped create the park, including the World Wide Fund for Nature and Conservation International. -The park is very important because it helps consolidate one of the world's last roadless wildernesses,' said Roberto ' Cavalcanti, director of Conservation International in Brazil. "Much of the Amazon is still wild, but there are roads running through it." In much of the Amazon, roads have accelerated destruction of the forest by providing access for settlers, prospectors and loggers. Deforestation has destroyed about 15 percent of Brazil's Amazon ' rainforest, which today covers about 1.35 million square miles. "This park today looks much like it would have hundreds ofyears ago, since Tumucumaque has not been deforested," said Jose Maria Cardoso da Silva, Conservation International's Director for Amazonia. "I don't have any doubt the park vvill yield new species," said Jose,,,, Pedro de Oliveira Costa, secretary for biodiversity and forests at Brazil's Environment Ministry. Costa hopes millions of dollars in promised funding from the World Bank and Global Environmental Facility will help Tumucumaque avoid the fate of other parks in the , .„ Amazon, where a shortage of forest rangers and infrastructure has made parks vol-' nerable to illegal mining and logging and, virtually inaccessible to the general public: Initially, the park will be open only to scientists, who will study how best to combine tourism with preservation. "This is an opportunity that doesn't come along very often," said Garo, Batmanian, chief executive officer of the World Wild Fund for Nature. "Because most of the land in the Amazon is still in the government's hands, the environment can still have a vision for zoning the Amaome observers are skeptical towards the project pointing that the development agency for Amazon is involved in a corruption scandal and will be able to do very little in this climate.
.0/ BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
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If Lula is not elect en chances of profound reform will be postponed yet again. And with the growing attack on the currency, a chance might be lost for another eneration. *^A
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
South America is being shaken economically. Argentina's banking system has all but collapsed: money has become a scarce item. indeed, even after devaluating to three-quarters of its previous worth. Venezuela, having survived a coup d'etat in April. braces for the permanence of its democratic institutions--notwithstanding its leader. After years of Fujimori's hard line rule, Peru is now bursting at the seams as a president actually seems committed to righting social ills, though with State coffers empty. Uruguay attempts to keep afloat with its sink-, ing currency. And Ecuador has already. been dollarized; Chile. a special case since '73; Colombia, the banality of a 35-year long war... And in the middle of it all stands South America's largest economy, Brazil. With its currency now hovering at 3-3.4 fora dollar, the Brazilian real-- now more appropriately called the irrearâ€” has lost a third of its value in the last year, an increase only slightly below the 1999 devaluation that bade farewell to any illusions behind the experiment of pegging local currencies to the dollar. Still, the rabid speculation on the currency and vacillating financial vulnerability has more o fa political reason than an economic one. This is because presidential elections in Brazil are set for October& and leftwing candidate, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the PT (PallidÂ° dos Trabalhadores---Workers' Party) is ahead. Correction: he is still ahead. Steve Cobble, a political analyst and Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, has contributed a thoughtful and lucid article on the subject to The Nation maga-
With President Fernando Cardoso k
zine (dated August 5). To be sure, the article is timely. Despite all its exoticism. Brazil still remains little known in North America. It is Latin America's largest nation and has been by far its largest economy (though its gross GDP has now been surpassed by Mexico). With the elections a few weeks away, the international press is observing the buildup to the elections most attentively. With the currency crisis becoming ever more acute, it is still unclear whether Lula and the PT can keep sheltering themselves from its public fallout. To top things off, American Treasury Secretary O'Neill paid a visit to South America early August, stopping by Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, Cobble has addressed his stirring plea BRAZZIL-SEPTEMBER2002
to the American progressive community on ways to support the PT, though Brazilian law prohibits all candidates and parties from receiving foreign funding. The reasons for which the PT should be worthy of such help are clear enough. Through its fifteen some years of existence, the PT has remarkably kept the reputation of an honest party. Some critics boast that it is the luxury only a party remaining perpetually in the opposition can afford. Others would counter that in a political system carpeted with thieves, white-collar crime only mildly declines with partial power.
Workers' Party's Birth Cobble's piece is relatively short, which means there remain important issues necessarily left unattended. Notwithstanding its concision, I would add thatthe predominantly "ideological" angle of the article somewhat skews the stakes of these elections and Brazil's role as a major continental player. Cobble first provides a brief description of the geopolitical history of Brazil, particularly highlighting U.S. positions on preceding elections. This sprightly introduction, in which he expresses hopes for a Democrat victory in the US this fall, is followed by a three-point action plan for the American progressive community to take regarding the Brazilian elections. His observations and analyses converge into one key phrase: "our goal is not to intervene in Brazilian elections', it is to keep powerful corporate actors and their allies from intervening to subvert Brazilian democracy". The criticism I hold ofCobble's piece deals especially with the dominance of the ideological tone over the economic one. By ideological, I mean that Cobble solely focuses on the objective of the political posture of the PT. It most certainly is a leftwing party, headed by the
former head of the Metalworkers' Union, Lula himself. The party actually developed concurrently to Solidarisnosk (Solidarity) in Poland in the late seventies. At that time, Brazil was ruled by a military junta, and had been by a series of them after democracy was overthrown in 1964. A putsch by the Air Force had been in the plans for a considerable amount of time. In 1954, it was deferred in extremis by the dramatic suicide of President Getulio Vargas. But in 1964, as then President Jodo Goulart prepared to press through Congress with a series of major land reform laws, the military seized the country's democratic institutions. Since folding to public demonstrations for the return to democracy in 1985, Brazil is now moving into its fourth consecutive presidential elections. Much has been written about Chile's democratic tradition, but Brazil has proved by far to be the Cone's most durable democracy. After surv iving the debt crisis, Brazil's most discomforting economic woe in the early nineties was spiraling inflation. On July 1, 1994, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, then Finance Minister under President hamar Franco, unveiled the Plano Real. The plan replaced the existing "cruzeiro" by basically pegging the "real" to the dollar. The new currency started trading on July 4 at 93.5 U.S. cents. Elected in October thanks to the success of the Real Plan, Cardoso became president on January 1,1995. Such movesto stabilize inflation were particularly encouraged by the IMF and Bill Clinton's staff of economic planners. The aims of this policy, despite how they may now appear in hindsight, were in fact oriented at increasing an emerging market's capacity at modernizing its industrial sectors by increasing its ability of importing costly foreign technology. The downside to such flexibility is that the export market suddenly changes qualitatively. From an emerging market, a country like Brazil was propelled to firstworld status through the cost of its products on the international market. A readjustment of the real was thus impending if only to counterbalance the relative weakness of Brazilian industry faced with the big players. That's because a country does not bridge the gap between 'emerging market' to 'first world power' as easily as doctrinarian advocates of neo-liberal globalization contend. Yet for the sake of re-election, President Cardoso over-
stretched the real's critical mass by holding firm on its peg to the dollar. Only weeks after his re-election, won precisely on the grounds of Brazil's sparkling economy, this resulted in the real being devaluated to counter a massive stock market collapse and capital flight. That was only the early sign of the failure of the "Washington Consensus". The term refers, of course, to the apparent shift in U.S. policy toward Latin America as heralded by Bill Clinton. Under its terms, the U.S. adopted a purely business relationshipâ€”with the exception of Colombia and, to a lesser extent, Boliviaâ€” with Latin America. â€˘ Brazil's current vulnerability lies in its isolated position with respect to the powerful economic community blocks of the world. Once conceptualized as a "pivotal" country, it has been and remains the driving force of the South American free trade zone, the Mercosul (in Portuguese). What remains ofthe free zone asIthe other members (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay) suffer the collapse of their economies is really an open question. The immediate backlash oftheir crises is on Brazil's trade deficit. Its economy barely grew in 2001 at 2 percent, a depressing level for a trade zone containing an estimated 50 million middle class consumers, whose purchasing power nonetheless remains under stress. Within this international scenario, Brazil remains committed to a democratic system. And such a system, and its promises of social reform, holds a powerful place in the heart of the Brazilian people. That reform has been slow is largely an internal factor. President Cardoso's team, however, has succeeded in driving a wedge into corruption where others have only secured it. Still, to keep power Cardoso was forced to seek alliance with unsavory parties, which has ultimately held his reformist dreams in check. Internationally, ever since assuming power the Republican government in the U.S. has continually stirred up tensions with Brazil, if only through mishaps. In the early weeks of Bush's presidency, though, President Cardoso demonstrated his diplomatic flair by maneuvering a deal between China and the U.S. on the fallen spy plane the Chinese refusedqo release from their territory. A swift thank you followed, but the Bush proposal for the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas did not reflect Brazil's vision for ecoBRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
nomic partnership. And the recurrence of American protectionism on steel and its massive agricultural subsidies has not sat well with Brazilian parties across the board.
Unfortunately Explained This is because with its population of 175 million, Brazil is very close to being a big league player. Still, it can only fall short in try ing to make it on its own. Earlier this year, a possible rapprochement between Brazil and France had lain on the horizon as opinion polls were citing Lionel Jospin as successor to Chirac and the country's second Socialist president. That was not to be. Brazil's leftwing party is now quite alone on a terrain if not populated by wolves then at least deeply lacking in possible alliances. This is the context in which the PT is calling for the Brazilian people's vote. Internally there is a strong desire and need for change. Unfortunately, there is no candidate as much of a leader as Lula in the fray. I say "unfortunately" not because Lula would not be "prepared" to lead the country, as many professedly astute voters believe. It is unfortunate because ifLu la is not elected, then chances of profound reform will be postponed yet again. And with the growing attack on the currency, a chance might be lost for another generation. In a country chocked with urban violence, this may well prove to be catastrophic. The current presidential elections have 19 official candidates. They have been filtered down to four, soon to be squeezed again to three. As in other presidential systems of this kind, lying somewhere between the French and American parliamentary democracies, by the time the candidates get ground down to two for the second round many political alliances will have formed. The questions facing the PT are delicate. In a desire to reassure Brazilians that its purpose is first and foremost to create consumer incentives to boost local industries, its commitment is to create jobs and growth. Its most popular promise is to massively raise the minimum wage and place priorities on education. Yet faced with international pressure, the PT has moderated a number of its promises. This has had an ironic though not surprising effect, given that its strongest supporters are Brazil's 70 million impoverished BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
"under-class". When the PT appeals to a larger audience, its standing in opinion polls decreases. Judging by recent polls, if they are at all reliableâ€”and like polls in any country they are open to skeptical interpretationâ€”, the PT seems to lose Lula carnpaignirg the votes it gains by fine-tuning its discourse to a more "moderate" pitch. s the PT is renown for gathering more of e nation's brains than any other party, pa strategists must be wondering at w at political cost election is still worth if he party folds to international pressure on its economic policies. The progressive community in the U.S., Canada and Europe admire the PT for good reason. They are essentially the only party left from a generation ago who have not watered down their social commitment to the point of libeling the term "progressive". Neither Blair, nor Clinton, nor McDonough, Shroeder, or Jospiit for that matter were comfortable with the heritage they increasingly came to Misrepresentâ€”which is assuming the first two ever embodied it at all. The PT rank and file emerges from the industrial ABC region of Sao Paulo State. In the southern regions of the country it appeals to the populations descending from Northern European immigrants. The real enemies of the party, though, are the large landowners of the northeastern states, who maintain disproportionately large representational power for their meager numbers. Moreover, criticism of Ame ican policy toward Latin America is n t the monopoly of the PT. In a strange twist of fate, after solidly supporting the 1964 coup d'etat, the U.S. later saw itself sidelined as an economic player. Though rightwing,the military was no less nationalist. And let there be no mistakig the meaningofthis: populism is free of olitical stripes. Pleading to nationalisqis the populist's strongest card. But popidism rarely amounts to reform. The project to whichthe PT is committed is all but populist. Its reform platform is squarelylequal
to a progressive vision.
Closed and Sealed Under the military dictatorship, political populism translated economically into a closed country and sealed market. The country became a quasi-autonomous unit on many fronts, until president Cardoso's liberalist policies, coinciding with Clinton's 'soft imperial' Washington doctrine, opened up the country to foreign imports and investment. That the Brazilian political class had no choice over this matter should be borne in mind. Brazil had reached double-digit growth rates throughout the seventies with the ISI system (Import-substituting industrialization). But with mounting debt, ISI showed signs of exhaustion. To continue such spectacular growth, industrialists had to export more broadly, which meant opening the country in turn to imports. Since then, debt has only increased. Though Brazil's economy grew by 4.2 percent in 2000, its debt servicing costs Brazil $ 25 billion yearly, calculated on a real trading at 2.5 for $1 US. And then there are Brazil's banks. The PT intends fully to move toward restructuring banks, though gradually. Brazil's banks are among the most profitable in Latin America. Due to IMF policy, they have also some of the highest lending rates in the world, which is basically an impediment to the development of small and medium local businesses. Under the gentlemanly mood reigning between the semi-independent Central Bank, the IMF and private banks, the PT must move carefully and transparently to assure their creditors of the fruits 11
gained by reducing the prime lending rateâ€”even at the risk of causing inflation, so long as inflation in turn stimulates productivity and increases salaries. As things stand now, inflation is low but persistent, without any substantial increase in salaries, let alone any residual power of the currency internationally. Nonetheless, Brazilian banks have been agitated at the PT's stances. In the end, they may turn out to have been the main instigators behind the present currency speculation. These economic indicators make up the knowledge without which it is impossible to cheer for a PT victory. A PT government will be a full player, like Cobble indicated, in a fair global trade system. Yet it cannot do so alone. And at this point the American progressive communityâ€”and for the record, Canada'sâ€”is simply too weak and profoundly lacking in power to be of any help to the PT. The result is that Cobble's prescriptions are merely promissory notes. The North-American progressive community should have already had a strong position on economic partnership with Brazil. But as union workers in the steel, sugar and tobacco sectors have shown, and as workers in the fruit, especially orange juice, and beef sectors have felt, Brazil often appears more threatening to middle and lower class Americans and their jobs than to the upper classes, for whom Brazil's bond market is a sure source of income. It is unclear how America's progressive community can deal with this situation as predominantly critical voices on globalized free trade seem to prevent enough research and press exposure to cover the powerful sides of Brazilian life. Moreover, Paul O'Neill's statements on American television on July 28 are completely out of line. In an interview on Fox News, O'Neill, commenting on his plans to visit Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, said, "These are important friends and allies ofthe United States. And principally, they need to put in place policies that will assure that, as assistance money comes, that it does some good and it doesn't just go out of the country to Swiss bank accounts." Asked if he would back further assistance from the IMF to these countries, he replied, "No, no, no." O'Neill's comments sent the Real plunging and caused a diplomatic stir between Brazil and the U.S.. American 12
Ambassador to Brazil, Donna Hrinak, was summoned by Foreign Minister Celso Lafer, who complained of "profound ill will" caused by the secretary's remarks. Since Mr. O'Neill has proved useless on saying anything about American plutocratic trends as the background to the market's downward turn, it is obviously easier to prod Brazil's oligarchy. The human costs, however, may not be the same. It is in lightofthe economic instability into which a PT victory may throw the country that American progressives should be putting the questions of business involvement first. Unlike Venezuela, Brazil has a striving and vibrant economy, and large consumer base. Destabilizing its leadership has nothing to do with private profiteers trying to get their hands on the oil booty. On the other hand, undue social instability could disturb the country's democratic institutions. Ifthat's the case, the American progressive community will have to avow that boisterously raising voices is not enough. If it's a matter of legitimating the PT according to its socialist ideals no matter the cost of necessary alliances and compromises, North American progressives may in fact have to face the fact that they have much work to do at home before
adequately representing situations abroad. What to Do So how to go about an informed and insightful strategy regarding the Brazilian elections? As a prescription to the powerful, it is easy: Mr. O'Neill had best mark his words if the Administration does not want to wind up with a region profoundly hostile to U.S. foreign economic policy. But how about to those North Americans who do not hold power? How can we prevent uttering and/or muttering statements about the southern countries that ultimately only serve the business interests at home we are so determined to expose as the exploitative and self-serving interest of shareholder monopoly capitalism? For one thing, trying to forge foreign policy for Latin America by speaking in the name of the progressive community, while still remaining tied to the Democratic party, requires facing a moment of truth. Does Steve Cobble favor eliminating trade barriers, for one? If so, that's counter to the Democrat's overall position (and to Canada's Liberal party), which is why splitting ties from it should be BRAZZIL -SEPTEMBER 2002
stimulated even further. Clinton's Washington Consensus now appears as quite unreal in its expectations. One cannot expect a local currency to be pegged to the dollar while still defending the sovereignty of local businesses that are continually under pressure to comply with the game rules set by northern countries. Moreover, the wealth of America's consumer market and its productive power are daunting for any individual country to confront on its own when based in the trade principles set out by the OECD and WTO. In the past, even the US economy would have been at the mercy of other powerful currencies were it not for the Federal government massively funding its industrial sector—identical to the way China is now doing. Maintaining American hegemony over continental trade, at the cost of stifling the growth of southern countries is an agenda on which the Democratic Party differs little from the Republicans. On the other hand, ifthe North American middle class's commitmentto globalization is not merely blind faced and hypocritical, it must seek out analyses from other points of view on how to apply the principles of free trade on internationalist grounds. If the middle class is not satis- • fied in upholding the imperialist aims of •• the North America upper-classes, then • we must be able to usher in a cohesive and •• collaborative team of politicians, econo- • mists, entrepreneurs, investors and intel• lectuals to spread the purpose of novel • • ties and innovative policies toward the • continental economy. The people in the • south are expecting nothing else from our • • privileges. • In the end, despite the philosophical • glamour of watching a leftwing party • elected to govern Brazil, North-American • spokespersons for the progressive community will have to move much further left and cut its ties with the Democrats and Liberals if they ever hope to be convincing to southern nations as to the effectiveness of their long-term commitment to help pull the region out from economic slumber and into a more affluent partnership. Norman Madarasz is a Canadian philosopher currently living and working in Rio de Janeiro. He welcomes comments at
1111 • • • IS
III • • • •
The Candid/ s' Main Jingles iflia (PT) Bote esta estrela no pei Nao tenha medo ou pud Agora eu quero vo Torcendo a fav E so voce quer Que amanha assim se Bote fe e diga L la Eu quero L la
Put this star in the chest Have no fear or shame Now I want you Rooting in favor It's only a question of wishing And tomorrow will be like this Believe and say Lula I want Lula
Listen to the Lula jingle in ours te www.brazzil.com/lulajingle.mp3 The candidate's site: www.lul or .br/ t.or The PT - Workers' Party site:
Ciro ernes (PPM Vem meu p Is Meu Bra Vem meu giga te Nossa vida, voz vibr te Vem corn Ciro acred tar Vamos em fre te Vem meu po o, Minha g te Quem é hones o e Compet nte Vern corn o, Vemm dar
Come, my country My Brazil Come my giant Our life, vibrant voice Come with Ciro to believe Let's go ahead Come my people My folks He who is honest and Competent Comes with Ciro, Comes to change
Listen to the Ciro Gomes jingl in our site www.brazzil.com/cirojingle.mp3 The candidate's site: www.cir 23.com.br The PPS site: www.pps.org.br
Jose Serra (PSDB) 0 Quero-quero cantou na minha janela Brasil pense direito que 6 melhor pra gente Se Jose Serra jã fez tanto na saiide E o mais preparado pra ser n sso presi nte
The quero-quero birdsangbymy window Brazil think well, it will be better for us If Jose Serra has already done so much for health He is the best prepared to be our president
Eu quero-quero Jose erra E Jose Serra pra mudar Corn ele no tern lero4ero Vou ouvir o Quero-quero Jose Serra eu quero já
I want, I want Jose Serra It's Jose Serra in order to change With him there is no idle talk I'm gonna listen to the quero-quero Jose Serra I want now
Quero mudanca Eu quero emprego Quero saude Uma casa pra morar Seguranca pm gente viver sem medo Dormir tranquil° pm gente poder onhar
I want change I want a job I want health A home to live in Security so we can live without fear and sleep in peace so we can dream
Listen to the Serra jingle in our 4ite wvvw.brazzil.com/serrajingle.mp3 The candidate's site www.josqerra.org.br PSDB www.psdb.org.br
normanmadaraszAhotmail.com • 111••••11111MMIIIIMM•••111E
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Final Lap The Serra camp is pinning its hopes on the television propaganda campaign which started in August. However, Serra has little charisma and his performance in a recent TV debate with the other candidates made little difference. JOHN FITZPATRICK
0 candidata tocano bate ern Ciro Gories na tett., cresce as pesquisas, nt3 o mercada continua nervosa 00.0
A HAW DE SERRA 14
It is no exaggeration to say that the presidential election to be held on October 6 will be the most important since Brazil returned to democracy in 1985, after 21 years of military rule. The eight years of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's social democratic administration have strengthened democracy and started a reform process, which has opened the economy, bringing benefits to all sectors of society. However, the country is still a long way from resolving pressing domestic problems of poverty, corruption, crime and poor infrastructure, and coping with external problems such as the effects of globalization and expanding international trade. This election is also taking place in the middle of an economic crisis, which is threatening to wipe out the gains made in the Cardoso era. The Real has lost over 30 percent of its value this year, partly because foreign investors are worried that if the opposition wins, the clock will be turned back and they will lose out. Thanks to a change in the wnstitution, Cardoso was able to stand for re-election and won easily in the first round, four years ago. This brought Brazil unusual political continuity. At the same time, Cardoso has maintained the same Finance Minister, Pedro Malan, an impressive technocrat who is respected in international financial circles. For almost four years the Central Bank has been led by another respected non-political figure, Arminio Fraga, who used to work for investor George Soros. Cardoso's success was not due to personal factors, as he is a rather remote academic figure, but to his success in crushing inflation through the Real Plan. The Real Plan was a great success, but ultimately collapsed when the Real was devalued by around 40 percent in January 1999. However, Brazil recovered surprisingly quickly, with help from the International Monetary Fund, but things have gone badly again due to a combination of factors. These include the slowdown in the world economy, the crisis in Argentina and Brazil's high public debt. The IMF recently stepped in again with a US$30 billion loan aimed at avoiding a collapse, which would have had serious regional consequences. This time Cardoso cannot stand and so voters will be putting their trust in a new president. For the sake of Brazil, voters will be hoping the new man will have the same steady set of hands that Cardoso had. If not, then the country could go back to the boom and bust years, which saw the "economic miracle" of the early 70s become the "lost decade" of the 80s. Brazil's path to its present position has been tough and it would be tragic if the gains of the last eight years were thrown away. The main issues are not grand themes like globalization or the IMF, but bread-and-butter issues like unemployment and crime. The official unemployment rate is 7.5 percent, but this is a meaningless statistic as hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of workers are not registered and earn their living from the black market, which makes up an estimated 35 percent of the official economy. A visit to the old center of Sao Paulo, where tens of thousands of people sell items in the street, confirms the importance of this unofficial market, which makes no contribution to the economy in terms of taxes or added value. The opposite, in fact, as most of the merchandise is smuggled from Paraguay or is counterfeit. As wages BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
in Brazil ate pitifully low — the official minimummonthly wage is R$180 — about US$60 — it is often easier to make money hanging around a street corner and selling counterfeits CD at a fraction of the retail price than work. The other way out of poverty is to turn to crime. Every candidate stresses his solutions to these inter-linked problems. Poverty and unemployment inexorably lead to crime, often violent crime involving drugs, as the underprivileged see no other way ofimproving their lots. Crime in Brazil is very different from Europe. Violence is endemic and human life of little value. The criminals are violent as are the police, but crime detection rates are abysmal and the criminal justice system inefficient. Drug dealers govern the favelas (shantytowns) where millions live, and turn them into no-go areas for the security forces. The favela dwellers are too terrified to testify against them and, in many cases, the gangsters are in league with the police. There are four main candidates: Jose Serra (PSDB), former health minister, and the government-backed candidate; Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva(PT)—known simply as Lula—the main opposition candidate; Ciro Gomes (PPS), a former finance minister who broke from the PSDB several years ago; and Anthony Garotinho (PSB), the former state governor of Rio de Janeiro. It is interesting to note that they are all from the center-left as a right-wing candidate offering free-market policies would not be to the Brazilian electorate's taste at this moment. This does not mean there are no right-wing parties, but the sheer size of Brazil makes it impossible for a single party to win a majority, either in presidential or congressional elections. The result is that parties are forced to join forces, often forming regional alliances, and voters end up with strange, even contradictory, ideological combinations. For example, Serra's main ally is the PMDB, which has the biggest representation in Congress. Yet the PMDB is an alliance of disparate groups pursuing their own interests rather than apolitical party with an ideology. Serra' sown PMDB vice presidential running mate, Rita Camargo, has voted against Cardoso's most important reforms. Lularepresents the Workers Party; yet his main ally is the PL, a small party with close links to the evangelical religious movement. Lula's running mate is a millionaire businessman who owns a big textile company. Hardly the kind of ally one would expect a formertrade union firebrand like Lula to have. The other main opposition candidate, Ciro Gomes, represents the PPS and two BRAZZIL -SEPTEMBER 2002
other small leftist parties under the soL called Workers Front. His runningmate ip the leader of one of the main trade unions yet, at the same time, Gomes enjoys the support of the pro-business PFL party So far Serra has been unable to rais his ratings in opinion polls and is la guishing far behind the leader, Lula, an the runner up, Gomes. The Serra camp s pinning its hopes on the television prop ganda campaign which started in A gust. However, Serra has little charis a and his performance in a recent TV deba e with the other candidates made little di ference. At the time of this writing it looks as though Lula will come first in the first round, but without an overall majority, and will face Gomes in the second round. However, Brazilians are not radically-minded and, although they may want a change, they do not want to lose the benefits of the Cardoso era, especially low inflation. This means that it is far too early to write off Serra, especially as Lula and Gomes have many question marks over their ability to run a coun like Brazil. One cannot stress this much. This will be Lula' s fourth attempt to become president and if he fails this ti e his career will be over. Unlike the exp nenced Serra and Gomes, he has never leld any high administrative or political offce. Lula has toned down much of his Idstyle rhetoric. For example, he says he ill honor Brazil's foreign debt. As a resul we are starting to see less fear within Braz 1 as a Lula victory becomes more possi le. Brazilians, unlike fearful foreigners, k ow that, like Cardoso, "President" Lula vill have to negotiate with Congress as the PT is not strong enough to govern oi its own. Just as Cardoso has failed to get through some of his reforms, particu arly on tax, after almost eight years then ula will have to accept that there is no wy he will ram through his reforms without ompromising with the other parties. Do bts remain though. Lula' s heroes tend t be people like the Cuban dictator, idel Castro, and Venezuela's erratic presIdent Chavez. Many Brazilians do not believe Lula has shed his clenched fist and red flag and will not vote for him in any circumstances. If Serra flops, these people will ttIrn to Gomes. To this writer Gomes' rise is mystifying. He is fresh-faced, young and ar-
ticulate, but his policies are opaque and vague and it is impossible to know exactly what he stands for. Gomes has also made anti-democratic suggestions such as anticipating elections due to the crisis. On the economy he has spoken of extending debt repayments, thereby frightening potential investors, and loosening inflation targets. Despite Gomes' growing popularity, there is enormous hostility to him, particularly in financial and media circles. One of Brazil's top bankers, Olavo Setubal, was quoted recently as telling Gomes that he did not fear Lula. "If elected, Lula will do nothing. I am scared of you," the Estado de S. Paulo reported him as saying. The press is also angry at what it sees as Gomes' arrogance and refusal to answer questions it regards as relevant to the campaign. Journalists have been digging up Gomes' past as a scion of a well-entrenched dynasty in Ceara state, who entered politics through a small party, which supported the military dictatorship during the two decades it ruled Brazil. He has been compared to disgraced former President Fernando Collor, who resigned on the eve of impeachment 10 years ago following allegations of corruption. We are not devoting much space to Garotinho as he is strugglingto rise above his bedrock support of 10 percent and there are signs that he may even pull out of the race. Suffice to say that he is a skilled populist with simple solutions which appeal to simple people. His supporters are more likely to support Gomes and Lula than Serra if he does withdraw. In conclusion, on October 6 Brazil will be at a crossroads. The choice is to go with Serra and continue with the reforms, go with Lula in the hope that this particular leopard has changed its spots or, worse of all, go with Gomes (or Garotinho) into the unknown. John Fitzpatrick is a Scottish journalist who first visited Brazil in 1987 and has lived in Sao Paulo since 1995. He writes on politics and finance and runs his own company, Celtic Comunicacees - www.celt.com.br, which specializes in editorial and translation services for Brazilian and foreign clients. You can reach him at
It was not quite the World Cup final but the television debate on the Bandeirantes channel between the four main presidential contestants held on Sunday, August 4, was almost as eagerly awaited by the chattering classes. As for the rest of the population, one can be sure it was watching the usual Sunday mix of Silvio Santos and football on the other channels. The talking heads were Jose Serra (PSDB), former health minister and the government-backed candidate; Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT), the main opposition candidate; Ciro Gomes (PPS), a former finance minister who broke from the PSDB several years ago; and Anthony Garotinho (PSB), the former state governor of Rio de Janeiro. The candidate with most to gain was Serra whose campaign so far has been a disaster. Several months ago, as President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's handpicked successor, he was being seen as an out-and-out winner, the man who would continue with the reforms of the Cardoso administration and keep out Lula whose stale policies and lack of ideas would mean he would be a losing candidate for the fourth time running. Since then, everything has gone wrong for Serra and Cardoso's government in its last months of office after almost eight successful years. The Real has collapsed against the dollar, losing 23 percent this year, and is now trading at over R$3.00. The Sao Paulo stock exchange has fallen by 51.6 percent in the first seven months of this year, meaning
da Frente Trabalhista sobe 17 pontos em 4S dias, 1=. aproxirna-se de Lula e provoca urn terremoto na oarnpanba de Jose Serra
that all the gains obtained during the Real Plan have been wiped out. Serra may appeal to Cardoso, but it has become clear he does not appeal to !many other people. Voters have ignored his impressive record as health minister and turned not only to Lula but to Gomes whose soaring position in the opinion polls has been incredible. Never in his wildest dreams could Gomes have seen himself rising so high that, according to the latest poll, he istechnically in the lead along with Lula. A poll pitting him against Lula in the second round even gave him the lead. On the economy Gomes has spoken of extending debt repayments, thereby frightening potential investors, and loosening inflation targets, thereby endangering one of Cardoso's main achievements, the ending ofhyperinflation. Serra made a strong attack on him last week, saying that every time Gomes opens his month the dollar rises against the Real and a factory closes. Gomes' small leftist PPS party has formed a so-called Workers Front with two other smaller parties and his vice presidential choice is the leader of a moderate train union federation. Yet Gomes is not particularly leftwing and has the support of some sections of business. At times his views seem almost undemocratic, such as his recent comment that the elections should be brought forward because the country was in a crisis. As for Garotinho, he is struggling and may drop out. However, he is reckoned to have a bedrock support of around 10 percent and he could be influential in recommending who his supporters vote for. Most observers think Games rather than Serra would pick up Garotinho's supporters' vote. So how did the much-vaunted debate go? It was pretty tame stuff as all four were trying to be on their best behavior, knowing that any slip could have fatal consequences. No awkward questions were raised on ethical issues 22% as each candidate knows that people who live in greenhouses should not throw stones. Lula was calm and rather distant, only needing a pipe and slippers to complete his image as Brazil's kindly,
CIRO DISPARA 16
lading Hopes Everything has gone wrong for Serra and Cardoso's government in its last months of office. The Real has collapsed and the stock exchange has fallen sharply. JOHN FITZPATRICK
favorite uncle. He sat back and watched the others fight it out. The other candidates missed a golden opportunity to attack Lula for his lack of administrative experience. They all boasted about their wn records but omitted to take on Lula n their area where they could have woried him, perhaps saving this weapon for the second debate between the two finalists. In fact, it was Lula himself who briefly raised the issue in his closing statement when he could not be challenged by the others. Serra attacked Gomes on his brief record as finance minister and Garotinho or his record as Rio governor but, in both ases, in a nit-picking, confusing way hich did nothing to boost his chances. An aggrieved Gomes responded angrily when he should have let it go, leaving this viewer to wonder whether "he doth protest too much". Garotinho gave his usual simplistic view of life but in difficult times many voters seek simple solutions. It is too early to say whether this debate will change the current position but it is unlikely that Sen-a's ratings will rise because of it. This correspondent's view is that Lula and Gomes came out the "winners" well ahead of Garotinho and Serra in that order. When the official television propaganda starts, in late August, anks to his support from the PMDB, Wazil's biggest party, Serra will have twice as much free time on TV as the others. He had better exploit this medium tothe maximum otherwise LulaorGomes will be donning the presidential sash next January. BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
IMF to the Rescue The International Monetary Fund decides to give a big hand to the opposition presidential contender, Lula, but not to Jose Serra, President Cardoso's handpicked candidate.
US$ 30 BILHOES Brasil fecha acordo corn o
mprornete o proximo presidente
lerado detegado do inauerito nuft, A knight in shining armor charged into the middle ofthe Brazilian presidential campaign August 7, in the form of the International Monetary Fund dispensing the prospect of a US$30 billion loan and other goodies to help the battered economy. It is the third time the IMF has helped Brazil during Fernando Henrique Cardoso's terms of office and came amid a looming crisis of confidence, which had plunged the Real to record lows and virtually cut off international credit lines. Sighs of relief could be heard all over the country, even within the opposition camp. The government presidential candidate, Jose Serra (PSDB), welcomed the accord before the ink had dried on the page in the hope that it would boost his flagging campaign. The PT candidate, Lula, waited a day before accepting it as "inevitable" and making a few halfhearted grumbles. This shows the change in his attitude. Could one have imagined the Lula of old showing such moderation? However, as Lula finally stands a good chance of winning the election he has to be more cautious. He also knows that this accord will give his government, should he win in October, a good breathing space in its first year. In fact, as the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper pointed out on August 9, the PT played an important part in the agreement through contacts the party's president, Jose Dirceu, had with Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The paper said that, although Dirceu denies it, he was contacted by Cardoso on one of the days
when the Real plunged to R$3.50 aga nst the dollar. The PT made it clear th t it would only accept the IMF agreeme it if the annual primary surplus was m intained at 3.75 percent ofGDP. This is hat happened and, according to the pa 'er, the PT' s attitude helped the governm t' s negotiating team. Anthony Garotinho (PSB), who has been a vociferous critic of banks, i iticized the details ofthe agreement bu did not condemn it outright. That was le to the man ofthe moment, Ciro Gomes (P S), who lashed out. "Brazil had been fo ced to its knees three times by internati â€˘ nal usurers whose interests were well g ded by this government," he said within curs of the announcement being mad on Wednesday August 7. The followin clay, in a speech to Air Force officers in R ode Janeiro, he described it as a "disas r". However, it is difficult to believ this is really Gomes' opinion and it s nds like electoral bluster aimed at she mg that he is the only candidate who i outrightly hostile, and as another sti k to beat the government with. Right fro the beginning, the IMF made it clear t at no package would be forthcoming w hout the support of the main candidate and we can be sure that the Gomes cam â€˘ gave this assurance. The question now is, will the cord favor any of the candidates? First ef all, without being condescending, it s ould be pointed out that the average voter probably does not understand w at the fuss was all about. The Real ha been
gradually losing its value against the dollar over years, the economy is in the doldrums and the agreement is unlikely to have any immediate positive effect. Perhaps it may lead some companies not to fire people but what Brazil needs is job creation andthis accord will not bring any new jobs. It will only make things less worse rather than bring any tangible improvement. For this reason, some observers think Gomes will benefit by being critical. Few think Serra will benefit as he is the candidate of the government which was responsible for having to ask (or beg) for the loan. A poll published on August 8 showed that Serra had lost a further 3 percent and had only 11 percent, the same as,Garotinho, while Lula fell 1 percent to 33 percent and Gomes gained 2 percent to 27 percent. This was the first major poll since the television debate of August 4 we discussed in our last article. It shows Serra is still down and, perhaps, out. John Fitzpatrick is a Scottish journalist who first visited Brazil in 1987 and has lived in Sao Paulo since 1995. He writes on politics and finance and runs his own company, Celtic Comunicacoes www.celt.com.br, which specializes in editorial and translation services for Brazilian and foreign clients. You can reach him at jf(&celt.com.br This material has appeared in the E-zine Infobrazil at www.infobrazil.com
17 BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Speak Up, Brazil! Brazilians will never tolerate a return to dictatorship, unless the U.S.â€”as it has done so many times in the past with counterproductive resultsâ€” isolates the country and sows the seeds for such a scenario. PETER CASTLES
In the August issue of Brazzil, Leda Beck quotes megainvestor George Soros as saying, "In modern global capitalism, only Americans get to vote, Brazilians don't." The travesty of external forces determining the outcome of Brazil's elections, something that is largely being engineered by powerful American voices, is something that cannot and should not be accepted; I urge you all to speak out directly against these voices. Something I read recently spurred me to action, and I'll share with you the results. (I apologize in advance, because there is a lot of info here, so please bear with me. But I think it's important for all Brazilians, as well as Brazil's friends here in America, to see what some people in high places are doing to interfere with Brazil's fragile political process.) The following is a note I sent to my Brazilian friends and posted on the local Brazilian Yahoo bulletin board here in Davis, California: "Some of my Brazilian friends alerted me to the following article, which ran August 7 in the pathetic Washington Times, a shameless rightwing rag. The author, Constantine C. Menges, is an accomplished professor, writer, and former government official who warns that the possible election of leftist candidate Luiz Inacio (Lula) da Silva as president of Brazil might create "a radical regime," an "axis of evil" encompassing Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba. I thought some of you might take interest in the exchange noted below, where Menges and I traded e-mails. I also want to encourage everyone to let this Cold War dinosaur know what they think of his absurdly alarmist views. This may be important because there are many people in positions of power in this country who are doing everything they can to ensure that only a candidate "favorable" to the U.S. (and "globalism") wins the election. After reading this, I urge all of you to express your views to Mr. Menges directly via e-mail at mengesahudsondc.org 18
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
or by phone at 202-974-2410 or 202-2237770. You can also write a letter to the editor of The Washington Times (I've included two excellent letters below that published): already were firstname.lastname@example.org . Even better, write a letter to the editor ofyour local newspaper to complain about this unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Brazil. Here's the original article that inspired me to speak out, followed by the e-mail exchange plus a reply that my wife Leila sent to Menges.
Blocking a new axis of evil Constantine C. Menges Published 8/7/2002 A new terrorist and nuclear weapons/ballistic missile threat may well come from an axis including Cuba's Fidel Castro, the Chavez regime in Venezuela and a newly elected radical president of Brazil, all with links to Iraq, Iran and China. Visiting Iran last year, Mr. Castro said: "Iran and Cuba can bring America to its knees," while Chavez expressed his admiration for Saddam Hussein during a visit to Iraq. The new axis is still preventable, but if the pro-Castro candidate is elected president of Brazil, the results could include a radical regime in Brazil re-establishing its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, developing close links to state sponsors of terrorism such as Cuba, Iraq and Iran, and participating in the destabilization of fragile neighboring democracies. This could lead to 300 million people in six countries coming under the control of radical anti-U.S. regimes and the possibility that thousands of newly indoctrinated terrorists might try to attack the United States from Latin America. Yet, the administration in Washington seems to be paying little attention. Brazilians will hold presidential elections in October, and if current polling is any guide the winner could be a proCastro radical with extensive ties to international terrorism. His name is Luis Inacio da Silva, the presidential candidate of the Workers Party who is currently at about 40 percent in the polls. The Communist candidate is second BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
with 25 percent and the pro-democrati contender is at about 14 percent. Mr. da Silva makes no secret of hi sympathies. He has been an ally of M. Castro for more than 25 years. With M. Castro's support, Mr.da Silva founded the Sao Paulo Forum in 1990 as an annual meeting of communist and other radical terrorist and political organizations from Latin America, Europe aid the Middle East. This has been used to coordinate and plan terrorist and political activities around the world a d against the United States. The last meting was held in Havana, Cuba, in D cember 2001. It involved terrorists fro Latin America, Europe and the Mid le East, and sharply condemned the Bu h administration and its actions agai st international terrorism. Like Mr. Castro, Mr. da Silva bla es the United States and "neo-liberalism" for all the real social and economic problems still facing Brazil and Latin America. Mr. da Silva has called the Free Trade
Area of the Americas a plot by the United States to "annex" Brazil, and he has said that the international lenders who seek repayment of their $250 billion in loans are "economic terrorists." He has also said that those who are moving their money out of Brazil because they fear his regime are "economic terrorists." This gives a hint about the kind of "war against terrorism" his regime will conduct. Brazil is avast, richly endowed country, nearly the size of the United States, with a population of about 180 million and the world's eighth largest eco omy (with a GDP of more than $1.1 tril ion). It could soon become one of the w rld's nuclear armed powers as well. Betfween 1965 and 1994, the military ac ively
worked to develop nuclear weapons, it successfully designed two atomic bombs and was reportedly on the verge of testing one nuclear device when a newly elected democratic government and a Brazilian congressional investigation caused the program to be shut down. That investigation revealed, however, that the military had sold eight tons of uranium to Iraq in 1981. It is also reported that after Brazil's successful ballistic missile program was ended, the general and 24 of the scientists working on it went to work for Iraq. There are reports that with financing from Iraq, a nuclear weapons capability has been covertly maintained contrary to directives from the civilian democratic leaders. Mr. da Silva has said Brazil should have nuclear weapons and move closer to China, which has been actively courting the Brazilian military. China has sold Brazil enriched uranium and has invested in the Brazilian aerospace industry, resulting in a joint imagery/reconnaissance satellite. Brazil shares common borders with 10 other countries in South America. This would help da Silva to emulateâ€”as he has said he wouldâ€”the foreign policy of the pro-Castro and pro-Iraq Chavez regime in Venezuela, which has provided support to the communist narcoterrorist FARC in Colombia as well as other anti-democratic groups in other South American countries. Hugo Chavez worked with Mr. Castro to temporarily destabilize the fragile democracy in Ecuador two years ago. Now both support the radical socialist leader of the cocaine growers, Evo Morales, who hopes to become president of Bolivia this August. Along with helping the communist guerrillas take power in the embattled democracy in Colombia, a da Silva regime in Brazil would be well situated to aide communists, narco-terrorists and other anti-democratic groups in destabilizing the fragile democracies of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, as well as to exploit the deep economic crisis in Argentina and Paraguay. Further, a da Silva regime is likely to 19
default on its debt, causing a sharp economic downturn in all of Latin America, thereby increasing the vulnerability of its democracies. This could also trigger a second phase of economic downturn in the United Staes as export markets contracted. A Castro-Chavez-da Silva axis would mean linking 43 years of Fidel Castro's political warfare against the United States with the oil wealth of Venezuela and the nuclear weapons/ ballistic missile and economic potential of Brazil. Come our own elections in November 2004, Americans may ask: Who lost South America? The United States was politically passive during the Clinton administration, when it ignored the pleas of Venezuela's democratic leaders for help in opposing the anti-constitutional and illegal actions ofMr. Chavez and also ignored his public alliances with state sponsors of terrorism. Why can't the Bush administration act before 20 years of democratic gains in Latin America were allowed to be reversed? Why can't anything be done before a vast new southern flank is opened up in the terrorist threat and our nation menaced by one more radical anti-American regime intent on acquiring nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles? This disaster for U.S. national security and for the people of Latin America must and can be averted if our policy makers act quickly and decisively, but they must do so now. Timely political attention and actions by the United States and other democracies should include encouragement for the prodemocratic parties in Brazil to unify behind an honest, capable political leader who can represent the hopes of the majority of Brazilians for genuine democracy and who has the resources to mount an effective national campaign. Constantine C. Menges, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute, is a former National Security Council member.
This was Mr. Menges' response to an initial e-mail that I sent blasting him for his alarmist, reactionary, and unre20
alistic assessment of the situation (I didn't save the text from that one, sorry): August 23, 2002
Note for Mr. Castles, Your e-mail indicates that you disagree with my analysis. I hope that you are correct and that my judgement about Mr. da Silva is incorrect. I thought it would interest you to know that in the forty years that I have worked on International Politics and political development, I have always been a strong supporter of political democracy and an opponent ofdictatorships from the right and from the left. I came to the United Sates as a child refugee speaking Portuguese and German; my father, a political opponent of the Nazi regime, was to be imprisoned or executed but fortunately, my family escaped and Portugal granted us refuge as we fled to the United States. The three attachments will hopefully provide you with more information that will help you understand why I am concerned about Mr. da Silva's possible future actions. He has for example, convened since 1990, a group of communist, radical, and terrorist organizations called the Forum of Sao Paulo. The attached list of participants, who last met in the communist dictatorship of Cuba, is one of the statements I cite concerning press reporting that it is his wish that Brazil have nuclear weapons and try to equal or surpass Chavez. Venezuela has done exactly what I warned against in 1998/1999 and which I also summarized in another attached article. While editors in publications may choose dramatic titles for articles written by scholars, I hope you understand that I am concerned about the well be-
ing and freedom ofthe people of Brazil, Venezuela, and Cuba and view them as good people. I hope that Brazil maintains its political freedom and has more social justice, and does this without falling into the hands of a radical political leadership, which could cause immense suffering there and in other countries. It is my view that the future of Brazil is up to the citizens of Brazil. It is also my view that American scholars may offer their views of political leaders in other countries just as you have offered your views of my workâ€”this is an element of freedom of speech. Sincerely, Dr. C. Menges This was my reply: Reply to Prof. Menges, I appreciate your prompt reply and the polite tone of your note, Professor Menges, but the strength of my beliefs and the absolute abhorrence I have for your absurd positions do not allow me to reciprocate so kindly. You say that you have always been a strong opponent of dictatorships: Am I to understand that you spoke out as vociferously against the military dictatorships in Brazil that preceded their transition to democracy? Somehow I doubt that. After all, those were "our boys." It seems you're just another anti-left hypocrite, hiding behind the cloak of "prodemocracy" and fighting a futile battle against events and processes of which you have very little true grasp. I'm sorry, professor, but your alarmist views simply aren't based in reality. I lived in Brazil under Cardoso for three years, I'm married to a politically astute Brazilian, and I know what the typical Brazilian thinks; there is no way Brazilians are going to tolerate a return to dictatorship, unless, of course, the U.S.â€”as it has done so many times in the past in Latin America, and always with counterproductive resultsâ€”isolates the country and effectively sows the seeds for the type of scenario you warn against. Various representatives of the banking community just held talks with Lula and came away reassured; that alone BRAZZIL-SEPTEMBER2002
questions the validity of your views. The best policy for the U.S. is to start preparing for the possibility of a Lula victory and do whatever it can to ensure mutually productive relations between the two nations. In other words, the U.S. should exert its influence in a positive, not negative, way—for once. Co-option, not confrontation, is the way to ensure that Brazil stays on a reasonably straight path. I, for one, fear that too many Brazilians, already hypersensitive about the fragile state of their economy, will at the last minute have knee-jerk reactions to all this foreign-generated crap being heaped on Lula—then they will vote for the "safe" candidate, the one that will not bring them change but will simply continue to bleed them dry with continued corruption, ineptitude, and inaction. You say it is your view that "the future of Brazil is up to the citizens of Brazil." Then why don't you leave it up to the citizens of Brazil? If the Brazilian electorate chooses their candidate democratically, what right do you have to subvert that choice from afar? I am forwarding your article, message, and "strategic warning" to all my Brazilian friends here in the U.S. and in Brazil; I will also post them on various Brazilian forums that my wife and I participate in. One response I have already received, from my very close friend who works for KPMG Consultants in Rio, is telling: "Fucking lies!" she writes. I have yet to hear from a Brazilian who is not absolutely disgusted and alarmed with your views. And don't hand me that tired old freedom-of-speech line. I'm not saying you aren't entitled to your views. But disseminating agenda-driven misinformation is not something that should be taken lying down; it should be met with a loud and passionate objection. And I'm sure that you will be hearing those objections very soon via e-mail, phone calls, etc. You say, "I hope that Brazil maintains its political freedom and has more social justice." First of all, this current state of affairs may very well represent a defining moment in Brazilian history, where Brazilians are finally exercising their political freedom to the maximum extent! And why do you think people are leaning toward Lula?
Because those neo-liberal bozos th t of view of Lula and the leftwing movements in Brazil. have held the reigns of power for th As a Brazilian journalist who witpast several years have failed, like s many Brazilian governments befo e nessed several so-called left-wing meetthem, to deliver ANY real progress n ings with international attendants in Brazil, I can assure you that it is very social justice and stability. common in this kind of forum that parAfter forty years of service, pe haps it's time for you to hang up yo r ties and organizations that deeply disagree with one another will gather with spurs (along with that dinosaur thin ing of yours) and make way for so e one common objective—be it to demonstrate against world neoliberalism, new blood that demonstrates more co temporary ideas and doesn't rely I n be it to protest against the Area of Free divisive and exclusionary scare tacti is. Trade of the Americans, which they Forty years of wrongs do not mak a consider a bad deal for every country right (although, in your case, it h s except the U.S. Like with the Social Forum of Porto most assuredly made you "Right" ). People like you have done a hell of a j ib Alegre and other meetings, any internapromoting misguided, damaging, a d tional organization is free to attend and ultimately counterproductive forei n they will not be denied participation. Usually the atmosphere in these meetpolicies vis-à-vis Latin America. Your work is doing absolutely o ings is festive, democratic and pacific, good for the citizens of this country or and the most radical organizations are for those living outside our bord rs. looked upon as a curiosity rather than Despite what you and that cowbo in taken seriously. These events are usuthe White House might think, he ally sponsored by several non-govGolden Age of commie/liberal-bash ng ernmental organizations, and not by is over! The "radical threat", you s y? one party only. Political parties prefer Christ, man, it's not the 1950s anymore. not to be involved in these events' Do the world a favor and retire be ire organization, even though their militants and some of their politicians will you do any more damage. be present, depending on the prestige Peter Castles or visibility (for the public or press) of This is my wife Leila's messag to the event. Now, regarding Luiz Inacio Lula da Menges: Silva and the Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores-PT), you have no Dear Dr. Menges, lam Mr. Castles' wife and he sent me reason to be afraid. Both Lula and PT a copy of your prompt response to his have come a long way since the party e-mail regarding your article published was founded in 1980. The ideological on The Washington Times, whic1i is naiveté and administrative inexperience wreaking havoc among Brazilians all have given place to a much more mature program of ideas and administration over the world via Internet. Please pardon some of my grammar proposals and experiences that are receiving compliments from all segments of society, including international bankers who met Lula earlier this week. The Workers Party's constituents range from grassroots unionists to entrepreneurs, professionals and intellectuals. The PT has had several members elected governors and mayors all over the country in the last 15 mistakes since English is my s cond language, but I did want to write to you years, and they pretty much stuck to in order to give you a Brazilian's point the orthodox ways ofmanagement, with 21
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
conservative budgets and all. It was NEVER in the PT program the idea of revolution, armed violence or the like. By the way, the Brazilian people have the most absolute aversion to violent radicalism, guerrilla-like movements, etc. Most Brazilians would rather stay poor for the rest of their lives than having to fight with arms to change their political situation. They will try to improve the economy by voting for the candidate they consider the most promising, and every once in a while take part in pacific street demonstrations, period. Brazilians love their happy-golucky lifestyle too much to jeopardize it by engaging in war games. Therefore, rest assured that Brazilians will NEVER be indoctrinated to become terrorists, as you state in your article. The PT has even deleted the word "socialism" from their programs and principles statements. The Workers Party is for a capitalist society that is capable of promoting better income distribution, through moderate changes in the taxing system, incentive to industrial production and employment, etc. The PT and Lula are even supporting the current Government's agreement with the IMF. If Lula ever showed affinity with Castro or Chavez, it was only regarding some of their policies that were directed to improve the poor population healthcare, education, or to guarantee national sovereignty, etc. Lula does not support the antidemocratic way those men rule their countries, but he does want to make the point that there are some positive aspects in their administrations that should be noted. It's as if an American radical Republican who hated Clinton would recognize that at least he did a great job with the economy. But anyway, Lula would never try to emulate Castro's or Chavez's government style in Brazil, because the Workers Party is a very ethic and democracy-oriented party, and so are their voters. Populism is definitely not the PT style. Anyway, since you are a Portuguese speaker I would suggest that you read the Brazilian newspapers coverage of the presidential elections, so you would have a more accurate scenario of our political situation. Good websites of Brazilian news are: 22
www.uol.com.br/folha www.oglobo.globo.com www j b. c om .br I would rather rely on the daily coverage of the election facts and the analysis of competent Brazilian political columnist's articles (such as the ones at Folha On Line "Pensata" and Jornal do Brasil's Dora Kramer) than on the opinion of other scholars that might not be really up-to-date with recent Brazilian history. Thank you for your attention. Leila Costa These are the Letters to the Editor of the Washington Times: August 19, 2002 Next stop for war on terror: Brazil?
Constantine C. Menges' column, "Blocking a new axis of evil" (Commentary, Aug. 7) is an outrage to all Brazilian people. First, I do not sympathize with presidential candidate Luiz IliadÂ° Lula da Silva because I don't think he's really prepared for that office. Even so, I cannot imagine all the unnamable horrors predicted by Mr. Menges would happen if Mr. da Silva were elected. Indeed, Mr. Menges' column is like a jigsaw puzzle with no matching pieces: lots of old and inaccurate information (such as Mr. da Silva's connections to Cuban leader Fidel Castro) rearranged to make Brazil look like a potential terrorist threat to America. Brazil has its own problems battling narcotics traffic, so tell me one good reason why would it help the Colombian terrorist outfit FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), which is financed with drug money? Also, Mr. Menges' speculation about
Brazil developing nuclear weapons is ludicrous; we hardly have a decently working nuclear power plant. If this column was meant to turn Brazil into an enemy in your readers' eyes, it seems as if reverse propaganda has occurred. lfmore Brazilians arethinking like me at this moment, they are thinking that the United States has been behaving in a paranoid manner since last September, seeing terrorist threats everywhere. Playing in the Enemy's Hands Pedro Giglio Rio de Janeiro It is bad enough that the international financial community has seen fit to punish Brazilians for expressing dissatisfaction at the polls. Now neo-cold warriors such as Constantine C. Menges are playing the terrorism card to discredit one of Latin America's most distinguished champions of democracy, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Mr. da Silva gained notoriety on the front lines of the democracy movement in the late 1970s and was pivotal in the dismantling of Brazil's military rule. People may disagree with his policies, but there is no doubt about his commitment to democratic principles. He is no Hugo Chavez of Venezuela or Fidel Castro. His party leaders have proved themselves skilled managers of Brazi l's largest cities, and they have promised to clean up Brazil's notoriously corrupt government. Even current President Fernando Henrique Cardoso respects Mr. da Silva and his Labor Party and has vowed to endorse him in a runoff election against the populist Ciro Gomes. The people we should fear in Brazil are Mr. da Silva's enemies. Armed with an ideology of fear, they may overthrow the government and rem il itarize Brazil. Mr. Menges' essay plays into the hands of the real enemy, an enemy that is far more dangerous than Mr. da Silva ever could be. Mark Andrews Student Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies University of California in San Diego San Diego Peter Castles can be reached at pcastles(&,zworld.com BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
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Copacabana hotel, I saw for the first time a flyer about this tour to the slum Rocinha in Rio. In view of what they were offering to the tourists in the flyer... and now this article by Jennifer Grant... I cannot avoid to compare this tour to a visit to the zoo to throw popcorn into the monkeys' cave. "Look how they live! Poor monkeys, but let's take our picture anyway". I've been in South Africa where they offer the same service to tourists. Visiting the black township seems mandatory in the guide book. 1 don't know... But this kind of tourism looks a little bit sick to me, a little arrogant. Can you imagine the same service in the black neighborhoods of US? I've been in the States once and I cannot recall seeing this kind of tour in my guidebook. The closest was a jazz pub in New Orleans. What about in Ireland? Or a suburb of Argentina? I cannot agree pacifically that the poverty and misery of a country now becomes a route of tourists with a few coins in the pocket, a roll of film and a sack of popcorn to distribute. I believe-that there are other ways to get to know a favela from inside without putting people in a display window. There are nongovernmental organizations whose purpose is to facilitate this kind of approach to locals and non-locals. Christian missionary evangelism is also a good way. You are invited to participate in thisdialogue Write to Letters to the Publisher PC Box 50536 LosAngeles,CA90050-0536 or send E-mail to email@example.com
US, A DEMOCRACY? Thanks for the article "Brazil and the Bully," in the August issue ofBrazzi/- wvvw.brazzil.com/ p25aug02.htm. I'm afraid that my illegally elected president will do any damn thing lie pleases, including interfering in your election, ifhe wants to. Remember the C.I.A., Chile and Allende. That was no accident as is any other actions he's told to take. Since the 2000 election was fixed and the 2004 election is already fixed, many North Americans do not feel like they have any say whatsoever. It WAS a coup d'etat. And many North Americans are much more afraid of Bush than any of the other terrorists. ' I can assure you that North Americans are not letting the U.S. become totalitarian; we lack the ability and unity to combat it. This is partly due to the fact that most of our press is censored and many U.S. citizens do not know just how the 2000 election was fixed and the planning for it started in 1998. Many suspect but have not read Greg Palast's book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, which presents the information with excellent documentation. That information has been blacked out by the mainstream press. However the book is apparently becoming a best seller. Others desperately need to believe what Bush says because they are suffering from arrested development when it comes to politics. That is a part of every country but it is the part that is allowing this to happen with their blessing because they cannot and must not know what is, really going on. It's not any different than abused children who constantly tell you how wonderful their parents were. Also remember that we cannot resort to domestic warfare because Bush has all the weapons. Another problem is that, like other countries, we are scrambling to get or keep a job because there's a lot more people than jobs. And those jobs often don't pay enough to live on. It is very hard to be politically active when you're Just trying to survive. Thanks and keep telling the truth.
Armand Caputi Via Internet HOW ABOUT A BRONX TOUR? I've just read your article entitled "Rio's Flip Side' -wvvw.brazzil.com/p27aug02.1itm. I am Brazilian originally from Rio de Janeiro. While I was waiting for a friend in a 24
Marcos Borges Copacabana, Rio, Brazil THE AUTHOR TALKS I wish to thank all the Bra 77i1 readers who responded to my story "Flip Side of Rio" sayin that they cared about the favela residents an would like to pray or help. lam trying to obtain information on organizations, which are making a difference in thefavelasâ€”who they are, what they are doing, how outsiders can be involved, and how to contact them, for a follow-up article. If you have such information on a program or organization, please forward details to me at sjennig(&yahoo.com. Also, if your information involves a website, please make sure it functions in the United States. If it is in Portuguese that is fine as I can translate.
Jennifer Grant MOVED BY YOU Mrs. David, I have been reading the braMl.com articles for the past months (I have become "infatuated" with Portuguese and I think the articles give great cultural synopsis) Anyway, I am an 18-year-old student at the University of Central Florida (actually I begin my sophomore term tomorrow and I will be taking Portuguese.) Recently I read your piece
on Roberto Drummondâ€”"The Scent Of God" - www.bra77il.com/p40aug02.htm - and I was really touched by your words. Your letter to your dead friend was especially sweet. Anyway, my main reason for writing to you is to inform you that Hilda Furacao has been released on DVD in Brazil and you can order it if you like here: http:// somlivre.globo.com/ ProdutoDVD.asp?ProductID=074070 The DVD is all region too, so it will work on the US players. When the show aired (in Spanish) on Telemundo, a few months back, I really didn't take too much interest in it (I was/am addicted to El Clon) but now I wish I had, even if! could not understand the subtle nuances that maybe only Mine iros can.
Via Internet Orlando, Florida DON'T TOUCH MY GIRL You have a partial or blind vision of our country. This is a beautiful land with gentle and serious people. Maybe, because you can't understand the language and the codes of this country, you have a deformed concept. Every people in this world have the same amount of sexual impulse and you can't write thi s exaggerated opinion about our country in the Internet. You're stupid. Learn our idiom and codes before your write such an idiot text. I think you have some sexual disturbance and through your sick mind start to write this bullshit. Who told you everything you see you can touch? Idiot. Come here and try to touch a girlfriend os someone and you'll return to your country without your balls (if you still have them).
Paulo Mota Porto Alegre, Brazil THE TONE OF RACISM In reference to your article "Race and Fantasy," - www.brazzil.com/blajan99.htm - how would you compare Brazilian racism to that of the USA? In what ways is the situation, better, worse or j ust different when contrasting the two countries? How are race relations in the country and is the div ide as widespread through all social classes as it is in the USA? In other words, do poor Portu-Brazilians and poor Afro-Brazilians have the same level of animosity as do poor Anglo-Americans and Afro-Americans?
J. A. Prete Via Internet
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On September 7, 2002 when Brazilians commemorate their Independence Day, as a Brazilian citizen, I will be wondering if Brazil still is an independent nation or if Brazil has surrendered its sovereignty to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for a few dollars. Who runs the Brazilian economy today? The IMF or the Brazilian government? My ancestors Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva (the Patriarch of Brazilian Independence) and his brother Martim Francisco Ribeiro de Andrada (the first great Brazilian financier, Martim Francisco is credited with developing and implementing the financial plan, which financed the war effort for the Brazilian independence, when he was Finance Minister in 1822), would be very disappointed with the economic policies being implemented in Brazil in the last four years by the Brazilian government. Jose Bonifacio and Martim Francisco had a very good grasp of economics and finance, and they did not believe in borrowing money from foreign sources with strings attached. They believed in creating a domestic pool of capital to fund the development of the Brazilian economy. I am sure that both of them would be 100 percent against all these Brazilian government borrowings from the International Monetary Fund and from other BRAZZIL -SEPTEMBER 2002
international banking institutions.
Countdow to Armagedd Now it is Brazil's turn to go through an economic meltdown. Brazil is traveling on the same road that other countries have traveled before their total collapse. RICARDO C. AMARAL
Is it a coincidence that the largest bailout ever given by the International Monetary Fund almost matched the amount of $27 billion dollars that U.S. banks have as claims on Brazilian borrowers as of the end of March 2002? This IMF loan was the largest loan given to any one country to date. The US$ 30 billion loan to Brazil was an amount higher than expected and surprised most people. Was this loan a bailout to Brazil or to the U.S. banks? The Wall Street Journal reported on August 8, 2002 that the major American banks, which will benefit from this bailout are as follows: Citigroup with $11.4 billion total exposure in U.S. dollars to Brazil, FleetBoston with $10.4 billion, and J.P. Morgan Chase also has a substantial exposure. On August 9, 2002 The New York Times reported that as soon as the loan package was announced the shares of Citigroup and FleetBoston jumped 6 percent each in response to the news. There is no question that this IMF loan was a bailout to the major U.S. banking houses.
Reckoning Day Postponed Whom can you believe today when it 25
comes to economic and financial news information? Most people have short memories, and they don't learn from prior experiences. Everything was wonderful with the Asian economies before they had the Asian economic meltdown. Russia was following all the instructions from the West on how to become a capitalist and open market state. Then there was the Russian economic meltdown. In the last ten years, Argentina was the new star and the showcase for freemarket economics, economic restructuring, and government privatizations (the Argentinean government privatized everything in sight; including the zoo in Buenos Aires). It did not take long for an Argentinean meltdown, which is becoming also a Latin American meltdown. I used to believe in a free market economy, but today I am having second thoughts about this subject. Today, Brazil is that country which has been doing all the right economic moves as reported by the American press. The Wall Street Journal on August 8, 2002, in a written release by the Treasury Department quoting Secretary Paul O'Neil, said: "Brazil has the right economic policies in place to maintain stability so that the economy can continue to grow." Brazil has been following all the rules stipulated by the IMF (the string that comes attached to IMF borrowings). The IMF has the formula down pat on how to wreck a country's economy. We don't have to look further than Argentina, but if you prefer you can look at a number of examples in Africa. Please don't be surprised by the future economic meltdown of Brazil. This IMF loan package just moved forward the day of reckoning for the Brazilian economy. I know most people are naĂŻve, and they don't act when they still have time to save themselves from the mess. It does not matter how many times the Brazilian population gets shafted; they still have that Brazilian attitude, and they say"deixa pra la, meu" or "a gente sempre cid um jeitinho."
The coming run on Brazilian banks I find it to be a sad situation when I see on the 6 o'clock news so many people banging on bank doors in Argentina and Uruguay, begging the banks to let them withdraw their own money. Most people in Argentina are seeing all their life say26
ings going up in smoke and there is nothing that they can do at this point to recuperate their losses. The money is gone! The country Argentina is bankrupt and broke! Now, it is Brazil's turn to go through an economic meltdown. Brazil is traveling on the same road that other countries have traveled before their total collapse. The Brazilian government is also using that same old road map provided by the IMF, which leads a country to economic meltdown and chaos. The handwriting is on the wall; it is only a matter of time and we will have a Brazilian economic meltdown similar to the one in Argentina. The economic meltdown is right on schedule. Why? . Because of the Brazilian government's economic policies of the last few years. In the last 3 and 1/2 years, the main culprit in this economic debacle in Brazil has been the Brazilian government policy of defending that moribund currency the "Real." The international monetary game changed completely with the birth of the "Euro" on January 1, 1999. The Brazilian politicians and government officials were still playing in the old currency game, and they did not catch on as yet that the rules of the international currency game have changed since January 1999. I am going to give you an idea of the mentality of the current members of the economic team of the Brazilian government and give you some clues as to how their reasoning process might work when they are trying to resolve a major economic problem. The only thing we can do
is to sit back and have a good laugh. I find pathetic that senior members of the Brazilian government's economic team, at this stage of the game, are still contemplating the possibility of creating a new currency for South America. I believe one of the names that they are considering for that new currency is the "Bankrupt." I find that name very appropriate, when we take in consideration what is happening today to the economies of all the countries in South America. This loan package from the IMF is the last call before the economic meltdown. If you are living in Brazil and if you have any assets and brains, you should be converting most of your Brazilian assets preferably into Euros and transferring your assets out of the country. Let me clarify this last statementâ€” out of the country to a country such as Switzerland, France, and Germanyâ€”I don't mean for you to transfer your assets to another country such as Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. I suggest that you convert your assets into Euros instead of U.S. dollars, because I believe that in terms of investment the Euro will be a better bet for the future than the U.S. dollar. I know that most Brazilians will be caught by surprise when the run to the banks starts in Brazil. They will wonder what is happening when the banks are closed and their money is frozen in their accounts. They will blame the banks and the government for their predicament. They also will be banging with pieces of metal in the bank's outside wall and they will be using that same wall to write nasty comments about these banks, calling them BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
crooks and so on. I know my Brazilian compatriots well. I know that most of you are thinking that what happened in Argentina and in Uruguay will not be allowed to happen in Brazil. Most of you probably will disregard this article as just a negative bunch of boloney. Brazilians have a short memory, and many have forgotten that not long ago their bank accounts were frozen by the Fernando Color administration. Brazilians are ready for another round of that bad medicine. They have forgotten how bitter the medicine tasted at that time. Today, the majority of the Argentinean population just can wish that they could turn back time about one year, for them to take some action, when they still had the chance to move their savings to a safer country in Europe or to the United States.
Brazil's Achilles Heel When I wrote my articles about Brazil adopting the Euro as its new currency, I received many emails and letters regarding that subject. Some readers opposed my idea regarding the Brazilian currency, because in their view Brazil would be giving up its sovereignty as a country if it adopted the Euro. Since January 1999, the Brazilian Real lost over 60 percent of its value in relation to the U.S. dollar. If Brazil had adopted the Euro in January 1999, today the Brazilian GNP would be over US$ I trillion instead of the current US$ 558 billion. People don't understand how much damage has happened to the Brazilian economy because Brazil has this very weak currency, the Real. It is humiliating for Brazil when they have to crawl and go begging to the IMF in their pursuit of more money. This IMF money is very expensive to Brazil because of the strings attached to it. They have a profound impact on the country; not only economic impact but political as well. Some of the IMF requirements are that the Brazilian Central Bank keep interest rates very high—above 18 percent. Credit card rates in Brazil for Brazilian customers are calculated based on the unpaid balance of their accounts and the interest rate charged to their accounts varies from 9 percent to 12 percent rate per month. These interest rates levels are ridiculous when we take into consideration that Brazil has been operating under less than a 5 percent annual inflation rate. BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
The country Brazil and the Brazilia population are getting poorer and poor .r by the minute. Since President Fernand Henrique Cardoso took office in 199 the Brazilian government privatized ov r US$ 100 billion worth of governme t assets. The Brazilian government has be wasting all government reserves, t e moneys received from the sale of gove ment assets, and the moneys that th have been .borrowing from the IMF this absurd effort to defend this mo 1bund currency— the Real.
The second and final optio It does not matter who becomes t e next president of Brazil—Luis Ina io Lula da Silva or Ciro Gomes—there is only one option left for the Brazili government to avoid the coming e onomic meltdown and chaos in Bra 11. The new president should have the co rage of adopting the Euro immediately as the new Brazilian currency. The benefits of such a move sho Id be immediate. The one major benefi is currency stability. Brazilians will not be afraid of losing all their savings beca se ofmajor currency devaluations. Curre cy stability would give Brazilians confide ce to repatriate to Brazil the over US$ 50 billion that they have stashed awa in Europe and in the United States to rotect these assets from currencies m Itdowns. The other major benefit is that in erest rates charged to Brazilian busine ses and to the Brazilian population woul4 go very low—it would get in line with interest rates charged in the Euro countries. Another immediate benefit would go to the companies of the Euro countries that have investments in Brazil—their currency risk would be eliminated in Brazil. Until recently, I used to believe in a completely free market economy. Tdday I know there is a place for govern rent regulations and government prote tion of its industrial base against foreign ompetition. Deregulation has been a d saster in the U.S. to the airline, the en rgy, and the telecommunications industries. For example; many airlines are oft the brink of bankruptcy in the United States. Business Week magazine of Adgust 5, 2002 reported that since the TelecommunicationsAct was passed in 996 to deregulate the telephone indus , investors have lost over US$ 2 trill' n as the stock prices tumbled 95 percent or more from their highs. The crisis ould relegate the U.S. to second-class staus in
the communications industry in the future. I used to think that governments at all levels usually wasted lots of money, and that they were a very poor allocator of resources. I used to think that the free open market system was the best allocator of resources. Today I have my doubts about unregulated and a savage and destructive type of capitalism I have seen in operation since the mid-80's. It started with the savings & loan scandals and debacle of that industry in the 1980's and culminated with the latest string of company scandals on Wall Street. I believe that the government has a role in stabilizing the economy. For years, an overvalued financial market built on misleading and false information sent highly misleading signals to investors who eventually lost trillions of valuable national savings, which were misallocated to unneeded and wasteful investments. Investors lost over US$ 2 trillion in the telecommunications industry and over US$ 1 trillion in the dot.com fiasco. These investments are gone and will have an impact on many people's retirement plans in the future, since a lot of their pension money was invested in these promising areas.
Is It That Hard to Get? Many people don't understand the idea that the Brazilian economy will be better off if Brazil adopts the Euro as its new currency, instead of continuing with the Real (which eventually will put Brazil in the poor house) or adopting the new currency the Bankrupt. I know that they can't grasp the idea but I will try one more time. The fact is that Brazil would benefit and prosper if it adopts the Euro. Let me give an actual example. In January 1999, the economies of Brazil and of California were very close in size; each economy had a gross national product (GNP) of approximately US$ 1.1 trillion. Today, California still has an economy that exceeds US$ 1.2 trillion, even though energy deregulation went out of control in California and almost bankrupted that state. California faces a budget deficit of US$ 24 billion; a figure that represents almost 30 percent of its total budget. If California were not protected by the value of the U.S. dollar, because the U.S. dollar is the currency of California, then we would have a different story. California is the largest state economy in the U.S. and the second largest is New 27
York, which is about 70 percent the size of California' s. If California was an independent country their economy would rank number six in the world in terms of GNP. If California had its own currency such as the Real, then their currency would be crashing right now. Their banking system would be in shambles as in Argentina, and Californians would be crawling and begging the International Monetary Fund for a bailout. Interest rates in California would be choking any possibility of future growth, unemployment would be exploding, businesses would be going belly-up left and right and California with all the strings attached from the IMF would be headed to economic meltdown and political chaos. Since Brazil does not have the same type of protection of its currency, you can see very clearly the result to each economy. In the last 3 and 1/2 years California was able to keep its GNP level even with all the economic adversities they had during that period. In contrast, Brazil lost half of the value of its GNP to about US$ 558 billion and its economy is on a free fall. I would risk to say that if Brazil had adopted the Euro in January 1999, even the crisis in Argentina may not be happening today. At least not as severe as the current situation. I also believe that the entire region of South America would be in much better shape financially today.
The Iraq nonsense I wish the Bush administration would stop talking about this nonsense of attacking Iraq. Every South American nation should be against such an attack with the exception of Venezuela for obvious reasons. Many countries in South America are going through an economic collapse, a financial meltdown not seen since the depression of the 1930's. If the United States attacks Iraq and now there is talk in Washington ofthe possibility of the U.S. even take over Saudi Arabia's oil fields (according to an article on The New York Times of August 12, 2002), oil prices will skyrocket to between US$ 60 and US$ 80 per barrel. What does the Bush administration think the consequences of that act would be to South America? We already have a bad economic environment in South America, and that continent will not be able to absorb the economic impact of such an 28
increase in the price of oil. At this point, the skyrocketing price of oil, on top of the current economic depression might trigger a major civil war in the entire South American continentâ€”with complete political and economic chaos in all the South American countries.
The Soviet Union Collapse In the summer of 1986 I was present at a dinner party in my mother's house, and she had about twelve guests at that diner. Among their friends, who were present that evening, there were two couples who came to the United States from Rumania, and they had been living in the U.S. since the early 1970's. Sometime during the evening the conversation turned to politics and economics. Then I told the people at the diner table that from all the information I had been reading about the Soviet Union for a while, I had come to the conclusion that there was a very good probability that the Soviet Union was in the process of going broke. Remember this was in 1986, Ronald Reagan was telling everyone about the potential dangers and threats from the Soviet Evil Empire. Our friend from Rumania told me in an emphatic voice "Fifty years from now the Soviets still will be one of the major powers in the world. I lived under Soviet rule, and I know how powerful they are." I never forgot that evening because I became the joke of that dinner. I was the only person in the world to believe that the Soviet Union was going bankrupt. That evening, everyone had a good laugh at my expense. They thought I
was out of my mindâ€”the Soviet Union going broke, what a silly idea. Where does this guy get these crazy ideas? When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989-1990 nobody was laughing at me any longer. About a month ago I went to a party to commemorate the 50th wedding anniversary of that Rumanian friend. I reminded him of that party in 1986. He told me that he still can't believe to this day what happened to the Soviet Union. The Soviets had made such a big impression on him that after all these years, he still is in shock from the Soviet Union's demise.
The Crash of 2000. I am on record. On September 27, 1999, I wrote and posted the following information on various investment newsgroups on the internet: "The Dow Jones Index increased from 72 in 1920 to 360 in October 1929 when the stock market crashed. Then four years later the Dow Jones had declined to 60; a decline of 80 percent from its high point in October 1929. The Japanese market index increased from 4,350 in December 1975 to 38,916 in December 1989 when the Japanese bubble burst. Then by 1998 the Nikkei sunk as low as 13,000. From 1990 to 1998 the Japanese stock market declined by more than 70 percent. The Dow Jones index increased from 780 in 1982 to the current 11,000 level in September 1999. The Dow Jones has increased by 14 times in 17 years. Not Bad!!! But when we compare this increase with the 12 percent average increase per year for the Dow Jones over the long term, then we know that we are close to the exploding point of the bubble. During the summer of 1929, many fools thought the increase of the Dow would go up forever. We will have a reality check in the near future. If you want further evidence for the coming crash, just check the historical average market PIE ratios with the average market PIE ratios of the Japanese stock market before the crash in December 1989, and the current American market average P/E ratio. Market crashes give smart people the opportunity to find many bargains. It is just a matter of having cash on hand to pick up the bargains." I received various emails at that time, calling me a doom n' gloom monger and saying that I was sadly deluded. I wonder how much money these people (who did not believe my stock BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
that the people financing the U.S. current account deficit are the actual people who are financing the U.S. military expending. From another perspective, seems to me that the slaves are the financial backers of their master. They are financing the bombs which might be dropped on their lands if they get out of line in the future.
market predictions) lost in the market since September 27, 1999. The Dow Jones started heading South in January 2000 and the NASDAQ started its dive in March 2000. Many trillions of dollars have gone up in smoke in the American stock market since January 2000.
Bad decisions I have been living in the United States for many years. The members of my immediate family and extended family— which includes two boys: a 4 and 1/2 year old and an 8 year old—are all American citizens. What happens in the United States today and in the future is important to me, because it will affect not only myself, but also my family. What kind of country are we leaving behind for this new generation? Today I see a lot of U.S. economic data and trends which I find disturbing. In my opinion we are heading in the near future for turbulent times ahead, right here in the United States. I don't agree with the U.S. government's militaristic and imperialistic policies of today, in their effort of trying to rule the world as the only remaining superpower. The U.S. government is spending far too much on the military industrial complex. All that money should be invested instead on the future ofthe country, making a better investment for the American people, such as building new infrastructure including ports, bridges, tunnels, highways, bullet trains, etc. These moneys also could be better used to build new nursing homes, a better health system and other improved social programs. There is an irony on this heavy U.S. military spending. As reported by The New York Times on February 2,2002, the U.S. government is increasing the military budget up to US$ 451 billion by year 2007. On February 5, 2002 the Times reported a breaking down of the 2003 U.S. budget including US$ 379 billion for the military budget, which represent 18 percent of the total budget of US$ 2.1 trillion. On March 16, 2002, the Times had an article entitled "Europe's Military Gap" in which they claim that the European Union and England (NATO countries) were spending only about US$ 140 billion for their military budget in year 2000. The article said, "Europe's perennial unwillingness to spend more for deBRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Other Concerns About the US I have many concerns about the future of the U.S. economy, because I live here in the U.S., and also because of the impact that problems in the U.S. economy might have on the Brazilian economy. We had a recent experience in that regard—the September 11,2001 terrorist attack in the U.S. had devastating economic effects also in Brazil. 1) I have a concern about the level of the U.S. government debt and its effect on the future of the country. The U.S. government has a cumulative federal Slaves Financing Maste government debt of over US$ 6 trillion as of July 2002. The U.S. government also On the other hand the United St tes has other borrowings from various funds, needs to borrow about US$ 1.3 bil ion which are not included in the above figper day from foreigners to financ its ure. current account trade deficit. The a al These other U.S. government borU.S. current account trade deficit for rowings added to the debt another US$ 2001 was over US$ 420 billion. A re- 1.8 billion as of July 1999, and included ported by Mr. Martin Wolf, a respe ted the following: Social Security US$ 845 Financial Times of London journ list, billion, Medicare US$ 148 billion, Milion February 26, 2002, "In his as ess- tary Retirement US$ 140 billion, Civilment, one of the most likely sourc s of ian Retirement US$ 490 billion, Unemunrecorded funding for this U.S. d ficit ployment Compensation US$ 81 billion, is capital flight from poor countrie . In Highway US$ 35 billion, Airports US$ other words, precious resources from oor 15 billion, Railroad Retirement US$ 21 countries are being used to financ the billion, all others US$ 58 billion. bloated consumerism habits ofthe wi rld's When the numbers are adjusted to richest people." reflect all this other debt, then the new He also mentioned that, "At th end total of the U.S. cumulative debt as of of 2000, the net international inves ent July 2002 is estimated to be around US$ position ofthe U.S. was minus US$ ,187 8 trillion. Since the U.S. government will billion, a little over a fifth of gros do- be running budget deficits in the coming mestic product. The estimated net nter- years, it will not be long before the U.S. national position was minus US$ ,600 government debt reaches a new astrobillion at the end of 2001. ...The IMF nomical total of about US$ 10 trillion. I says that last year the U.S. curre t ac- wonder how much debt the U.S. governcount deficit was financed by a Eur pean ment can get away with, before they have Union contribution of around US 210 to borrow and follow the disastrous rules and the balance by Japan, Asian de elop- imposed by the International Monetary ing countries, oil exporters and th capi- Fund (IMF). tal flight from poor countries." 2) It is not by chance that the U.S. Since the U.S. military budget .f US$ government is dismantling its welfare 379 billion for 2003 is so close o the and affirmative action programs. The estimated amount of the U.S. c rrent U.S. will not be able to afford in the account deficit of over US$ 420 • illion, future the costs of these programs. Bewe can make a connection and co clude -: sides the U.S. government being deep in
fense has undermined its credibility ith the United States and damaged NATS as a military alliance, senior American nd European officials say. Devastated by military conflict in he 20th century, Europe prefers to spen its money on social welfare at home and aid to poor countries abroad. The Europ an Union provides 56 percent ofthe wor d's aid and 36-percent of the budget of the United Nations."
debt, the U.S. will have another problem: an exploding cost related to the aging population. The current population of 36 million people over 65 years old will explode to around 70 million by the year 2012. Not only the population that gets Social Security and Medicare will double in the next ten years, but the cost will explode even further because the population is living longer. Heavy costs will come from an exploding group ofpeople, those 85 years old and older. 3) In the subject of pensions, Business Week magazine issue dated August 5, 2002, had an article, "Pensions: A Time Bomb for Corporations." The piece describes the problem of a major under funding in U.S. private pensions. The article starts, "Amid the wreckage of the worst bear market in at least three decades, hemorrhaging corporate pension plans are rapidly becoming Wall Street's biggest new worry." Then the article paints a very bleak picture.
She shrugged, "if baby boomers discover they don't have enough money to live on when they're older, they can always blow their brains out." The above information about pensions describes a very serious problem that will have a very negative effect on the American economy. I hope that "The Silver Bullet" program does not become the major U.S. government program designed to take care of the baby boomer generation; when Social Security and Medicare run out of money. 4) The press has been reporting that Homeland Security will cost an extra US$ 100 billion per year to try to protect the American people from further terrorist attacks in the United States. In ten years this program alone will drain the American coffers by US$ 1 trillion. This terrorism threat here in the U.S. will slow down the entire American economic sys-
Silver Bullet Solution The number one New York Times bestseller, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki, was published in 1997. Some information on this book regarding pension called my attention. I am quoting the following from page 137 ofthe book: "Cyril Brickfield, the former executive director of The American Association of Retired People, reports that private pensions are in a state of chaos. First of all, 50 percent of the workforce today has no pension. That alone should be of great concern. And 75 to 80 percent of the other 50 percent have ineffective pensions that pay US$ 55 or US$ 150 or US$ 300 a month." The book also mentions that, "In his book The Retirement Myth, Craig S. Karpel writes: "I visited the headquarters of a major national pension consulting firm and met with a managing director who specializes in designing lush retirement plans for top management. When I asked her what people who don't have corner offices will be able to expect in the way of pension income, she said with a confident smile: "The Silver Bullet." "What", I asked, "is The Silver Bullet?" 30
profits will go down affecting the price of their stock which in turn also will go down in value. The financial scandals of the last year will make people of other countries lose confidence in the American financial system. One thing we have to keep in mind: until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, the United States benefited from all these communist countries being out of the international financial markets. In the lifty years period up to 1989 the communist countries did not compete with the U.S. for the pool of money available for investment from around the world. Today the U.S. has a lot more competition from other countries than in the past. There is a real possibility that in future years the competition will become even tougher, and a large portion of this money will go to other countries instead of the United States. In the past I had a very good gut feeling about economic issues and I have been right about many of them. Regarding the collapse of the Soviet Union, about the bursting of the stock market bubble in the U.S., about the direction of the Real and gold prices, and so on. I hope that my negative gut feelings about the future of the U.S. economy don't became reality. I hope that the U.S. does not become another basket case such as the Soviet Union.
In Time for the Elections
tern (the movement of goods). Not only foreigners will have second thoughts about visiting the U.S., but at a certain point this new environment will start affecting the economic figures as well. Many productive illegal aliens living in the U.S. are returning to their countries. This trend eventually will affect real estate prices in states such as New York, New Jersey, California and so on. This terrorism threat will affect productivity in the U.S. in many ways. I don't even want to think what will happen to the .U.S. economy if terrorist attacks become more frequent in the future. 5) Another problem that will have a negative impact on the U.S. economy is when the real numbers start being recorded by major U.S. companies and
The Economist magazine of June 15, 2002 had an article about the Brazilian upcoming election in which Mr. George Soros, the famous currency speculator, put Brazil on noticeâ€”vote for the candidate of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso or expect an Argentine-style crash in which Brazil would be forced to default on its government debt. The Brazilian people can send a message to Mr. Soros and to his pals in the upcoming election, by voting for Mr. Ciro Gomes. Mr. Gomes has already announced that if he is elected president of Brazil, he would replace the current president of the Brazilian Central Bank, Mr. Arminio Fraga (a prior employee of Mr. Soros.) I understand why Mr. Soros is so upset about the upcoming Brazilian election. If Mr. Ciro Gomes wins the election, Mr. Soros will lose control of the strings at the Brazilian Central Bank. Ricardo C. Amaral is an economist and author and can be reached at amaralAalumnado.edu BFtAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
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Assim naquela atitude He who saw it like this tosto firme, olhar insano With a straight face and insane look Quem o visse nao dizia Wouldn't say he was Ser um ente desumano An inhuman being Prestava atencao a tudo He paid attention to all Corn um carater sisudo With a stern character Parecia urn soberano. He looked like a king 0 reporter perguntou The reporter asked A Lampiao sua idade Lampido his age Tenho vinte e sete anos I'm twenty-seven years old Corn toda serenidade With all serenity Sinto-me bastante forte I feel strong enough Fo tenho medo da morte I don't fear death Nem fujo da autoridade. I don't flee authority From Entrada de Lampido na cidade de Padre Cicero by Joao Martins de Athayde
Crime and Charm With the admission of women in 1930, cangaceiros became more tolerant and less nomadic, avoiding sanguinary combat and adopting new means like intimidation to obtain resources. CARLOS JATOBA
The cangaco was a Brazilian phenomenon of socialbanditry until the 1940s. Lampido was Brazil's most famous cangaceiro ever. Volantes were a tactical and itinerant police force that combated the banditry led by, among others, the famous Lieutenant Bezerra. A notice—perhaps stranger or uncommon to the inhabitants of the Capital, still sorrowful for the murder ofgreat writer and journalist Euclides da Cunha in the previous day—was published on the front page of the newspaper Gazeta de Noticias from Rio de Janeiro (formerly Brazil's Capital), in August 16, 1909: "Aracaju, State of Sergipe - The important city of Propria, the judicial district headquarters of the same name, was invaded yesterday suddenly by a large group of rural bandits (cangaceiros) that occupy the northern region of this state, which they chose for robberies and depredations. The local residents of the working city panicked and the police responded to alarms and took steps to resist the invasion, collecting all of the resources at hand, and capturing the cangaceiros that had resisted, stopping disputed combat. Some policemen were wounded and one cangaceiro died. Fortunately order was reestablished and people were satisfied with the measures to repress the invasion taken by the police. For this reason, the government of the State is preparing a new force to go in persecution of the cangaceiros. The Cangaco Cangago, or rural banditry, was a phenomenon of the first four decades ofthe 20th century in rural areas (sertcio) of Brazil. According to Billy Chandler, it happened as a result of an underdeveloped agricultural society. Chandler also remarks in The Bandit King: Lampiclo of Brazil that "banditry always sparked the interest of the people. In truth, the allure of these outlaws and their legend —without talking about banditry were universal. The male, or occasionally the female, outlaw as a nomadic bandit is apparently exempt of any societal restriction and that awakes a fiber of our imagination, mainly those ranked more remote in time or space. In this way, English people gravitate towards the facts of Robin Hood and his gang; Americans tell the adventures of Jesse James; Mexicans talk about Pancho Villa; and Brazilians recount stories of Lampiao." (1981: 15). The Cangaco cycle or as many, like Eric Hobsbawn (a British writer), calls it: "cycle of social banditry", occurred in the state Bahia and continued to Ceara state, in the vast northeastern hinterland and affected all rural populations. This phenomenon lasted for about seven decades (1870-1940). In 1938, two years after the death of Lampido (Virgolino Ferreira da Silva), it reached its height and continued until 1940 when Lampiao's successor and deputy, Corisco (Christino Gomes da Silva), died. Other cangaceiros—who were just as BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
famous—that preceded them included Jesuino Brilhante, Adolfo Meia-Noite, Antonio Silvino, Sinho Pereira e Luiz Padre. There are also precursors to cangaco or "acting-cangaceiros" (prior to 1870), such as Cabeleira and Lucas da Feira, in addition to others less researched and for whom little historical documentation is available. Historian Vassalo Filho describes cangaco as the life or criminal activity of groups of nomadic bandits in northeastern serttles of Brazil. Cangaco is derived from the word yoke (canga), a wooden piece linking oxen to a carriage or a plough. Cangaceiros wore equipment across their chests, which resembles the yoke of an ox, and, therefore, represented submission to ahead, chief, leader or lord. Daily newspaper Folha de Scio Paulo says that the word cangaceiro has origins in the time of Brazilian slavery when fugitive blacks were captured and tortured in an instrument known as a yoke. From that point on, mainly in northern Brazil, people who were displaced from society and rebelled were called a cangaceiro. On the other hand, real cangaceiros were isolated nomadic groups that acted independently and practiced assaults and thievery on roads and trails, extortion, servitude (empreitadas de morte), property invasion m villages and cities pillaging, destroying, and kidnapping people to collect ransom, "selling" protection against attacks of other groups and collecting "commissions" for busmess transactions made on behalf of the people. These activities sustained their lifestyle. According to Vera Ferreira and Antonio Amaury, "there were at least two types of cangaceiros. The well known nomadic cangaceiros traveled in groups • of generally permanent members and those referred to as tame cangaceiros were people who lived on farms and were ' protected by land owners. The tame cangaceiros were used to meet the group's defense objectives and to attack the enemies. They performed the dirty work in exchange for a lair." (1999: 24) The cangaceiros operated in the sertaes of seven northeastern states: Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraiba, Rio Grande do Norte and Ceara.' They generated fear because of their actions and groups—varying in size from five to 100 members—when they congregated to carry out a plan. The provincial region)of these states almost stopped functioning because of unreliable commercial transactions, and excessive reduction in interstate trade of merchandise, jobs and other activity between the diverse locations. Cangaceiros ' operational tactics were characterized by the following: ambushes, the element of surprise, cutting communication lines and simulating animals of the region. The gang originally acted in an unmeasured and impious 'savagery. With the ingression of woman in 1930, the group became more tolerant and less BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
nomadic, adopting a more hygienic an more harmonious behavior by avoidin sanguinary combat and adopting ne means to obtain resources such as letter and tickets and directed intimidation. I this respect, Sila states that "Cangac women dick not shoot in or engage guerilla warfare. We received a Mause [shot gun] and a dagger, because when they were attacked we had to defend them. For precaution, we learned to shoot." (1995: 33). Picky LampiAo The cangaceirismo was consolidate as a bigger power in the sertiks under th legendary figure of Lampi 'do, who beg to appreciate sophisticated goods such good Scottish whisky, French perfum jewels, armaments, binoculars, etc. 1936, the Arab peddler Benjami Abrahao documented the day-to-day a tivity of cangaco and "the cangago an tocracy," becoming a marketing tool fir Lampiao and his friends. Abrahao us ;d photographic and film machines to reco d moments of leisure, dance, combat ta tics, affection and tenderness, photos fir the family, and created a customized ca d with the photo of the head cangaco us d to ensure safe conduits and ma e "friendly" requests for pecuniary sources. Lampiao, between shoot outs, t • moted parties. which were animated a concertina of eight basses (sanfona e oito-baixos) and clog-dancing call d xaxado and at times he was filmed in is feudal lands —under apparent im • unity—guaranteed by the lack of enfor ement by police, and the policy of "pea eful coexistence" when dealing with he agricultural elites. Such elites were represented by he icon, the colonel, a typical figurehea in recalcitrant anachronism of the agri 1tural §ector at the time. The term or 1nates in the Imperial National Gu d, instituted in 1831, that recruited am ng the "elites of the local power" who w re later ranked as colonel, major or capt in, depending on prestige or politicians at sponsored them. This process of ini ianon was dissolved soon after thc pro ulgation of the Brazilian Republic in 1 89. The term "coronelism," meaning " espotism or tyranny", stems from this rocess. However, national recognition o the state of things became detrimenta to central power, the presidency of the'epublic, forcing it to take similar attit des with all affected states to create a ore favorable environment to police f rce (volantes) activity. Better trained and equipped volantes (some even c ied machme guns) brought the cangaco ii an end under the command of Lieute ant Joao Bezerra, who was a meticuls sly prepared agent who undertook the din Angie°, state of Sergipe, on July 28, 1938. The Volantes 'Volantes (police forces), commonly 'referred to as "Volantes Forces", "Volantes Squadrons" or "Volantes
Lines," appeared in 1920. They served society as military police and rapid response forces. Until 1940, as part of the Public Forces (currently known as Military Police), they were used in the rural, feudal regions in northeastern Brazil—a perfect theater of operations for hordes of bandits called cangaceiros. Lima observed "the Northeast was, and continues to be, a difficult region, that did and does not receive engineering, medical, and the law efforts... (...) The climate of the bandits' empire is rough, which is exactly why it continues to defy the system and inertia of our government." (1965: 3) To distinguish them from the paramilitary forces, which erroneously had the same denomination in some regions, is due justice. However, in developing historical accounts of the forces we find only a partial and not very enlightening clarification. Knowingly, Carmen Ferraz notes, "there are authors that, motivated by their own political and ideological convictions, try to deny merit to any of the volantes forces or its activities and consider them unjustifiable when they are not frivolously accused or transformed into scapegoats in the events." (1990:43) Throughout history, it was the volantes that were presented poorly in caricatures, which many times confused them with "private" military services, without considering the supposed subordinate actions they were assigned. Optato Gueiros wrote, "In the days oft* ancient politics, cangaceiros were confused with policemen. The head politicians were more powerful than medieval barons... ' "(1953:167) According to Euclides da Cunha, "the farmer of the sertaes live&on the coast, far from his plentiful land that sometimes he never saw. Like the opiileiit, largeestate owners of the colony, parasitically, they used the income from the lands without fixed limits. The cattle ranchers submissively served them. There they stayed(...) anonymous—beingborn, living and dying on the same plot of land—lost in the fields and mocambos (shacks); faithfully taking care of the flocks that did not belong to them their entire life (...) They are self-sacrificing people giving themselves to the _servitude without question." The questions remain: Is this a propitious environment to proliferate cangaceirismo? Is this the heart of social banditry? Cangavo continues to awake wild passions. Popular songbooks and literature are uninhibited from creating stories about cangaco. Carlezio Medeiros tells us in his fictional work that in spite of being an old and dying cangaceiro under immment attack, "many cried and asked friends and leaders to stay until the last moment when they died. The destiny of a cangaceiro was to die fighting in a hail of bullets or daggers of the macacos (monkeys) of the government and not to run away as a caga nas calcas qualquer (some pantshitter) because of danger."
(1971: 262) According to Paulo Britto (Lieutenant Bezerra's son), a closer look at the subject allows a "glimpse at northeastern Brazilian history. It is necessary to clarify the different roles focusin* on the aspects of a multi-faceted phenomenon: cangaceirismo. (...) The complexity of its characteristics: originality, values, codes, behaviors, attitudes, strategies, plans, the economic situation and social politics of the time. It was also a phenomenon that frightened the cities of the region, marked by fear, panic, terror and violence." (2000: 11) On the other hand, Manoel Bezerra e Silva said that the sertanejo (inhabitant of the sertao) living in the sub-Saharanlike northeastern region "are thought of as bad because they are from an area where the climate causes people to impulsively lose good judgment. However, they are good, hospitable and endowed with sincerity. Those who do not know the sertdo would think that the word is already synonymous with harshness of spirit, although in the middle of all that backwardness and obscurantism is the impersonated goodness characterized by a sertanejo' s ways. The man ofthe hinterland, in addition to being naĂŻve, is pleasant. It would be impossible to describe the anxiety these people felt when they became cowardly overwhelmed as victims of the cangago. They suffered because of the outlaws in the region and the pressure of the police that referred to them as coiteiro [people who give refuge, shelter or asylum to the outlaws]." (1978: 9). References (Sources and Recommended Reading) Chandler, Billy J. Lampido: 0 Rei dos Cangaceiros.(The bandit
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king, Lampido of Brazil. Texas A&M Univ. Press. trad. Sarita Linhares Barsted) Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1981. Vassalo Filho, Miguel. Lampido o grande cangaceiro. http:// www.atodominio.arq.br/cangaco Folha de Sdo Paulo. Folha Ilustrada. Bandos adotavam taticas de guerrilha no Nordeste. Sao Paulo: FSP, 18 de marco de 1997. Ferreira, Vera & Amaury, Antonio. De Virgolino a Lampido. Sao Paulo: Ideia Visual, 1999. Sila (Ilda Ribeiro de Souza). Sila: Memorias de Guerra e Paz. Recife: UFRPE, 1995. Ferraz, Carmen. ConsideracOes [sobre as Volantes]. in Ferraz, Marilourdes. Cadernos Sertanejos: Subsidios para a Historia do Vale do Pajeo. Recife: Liceu, 1995. Gueiros, Optato. Lampedo: Memorias de um Oficial excomandante de Forcas Volantes. Recife: do Autor, 1953. Cunha, Euclides da. Os Sertoes. Rio de janeiro: s/e, 1933. apud Moura, Clevis. Introducao ao pensamento de Euclides da Cunha. Rio de Janeiro: Civilizacao Brasileira, 1964. p. 139 Medeiros, Carlezio. Terra, PAo e Cangaco. Recife: Codevap, 1971. Britto, Paulo. 0 Cangaco e as Volantes: Lampiao e Tenente Bezerra. Recife: Do Autor, 2000. Bezerra e Silva, Manoel. Lampiao e suas facanhas. MaceiO: Sergasa, 1978. Carlos Jatoba is a Brazilian freelance writer and Web designer/Web master. He lives in Recife, state of Pernambuco. You can access http://www.cangacoevolantes.hpg.com.br to learn more about this topic. You can also reach him at cariatCeihotmail.com This piece was edited and translated by Jamie Sundquist, a freelance writer, proofreader and translator living in Chicago. In addition to writing for Brazzil, the author has published articles in Brazilianist, Wine & Spirit International, JustDrinks.com and maintains a website about the wine, beer and spirit industry in South America at httu://www.iswrites.com
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impossibility of hat you wish, i know however and also that there isn't much more to endure besides the certainty that barks beside the anxiety that i experience when thinking that i can give the whole show away WHISNER FRAGA
"e uma trOia perdida no meio da cidade que eu inventei p ra circular, alem do circulo de giz no passo, porque criei a cidade contra a cidade, minha cidadela excluindo a minimetropole envergonhada, ilhado, pavorosamente ilhad (Ronaldo Cagiano) traicao, ela acusa quando eu, volteando urn hemisferio novo, galgando traumas corn a astacia de minha cOlera, irrompo num dominio de geometrias irregulares, bradando agitado como?, quando?, acirramos nossas discordias, dois amantps luxuriosos, meu bem, grito, ajoelhado rente a linha, esse marco imaginario que me r us, margeando predios como lambesse de longe a chaga de urn ato consumado, sua ress rreipao. (nervosa)2 enfurecida vomitando agonias pelo carril den eado de suas entranhas ferreas, eu: o seu depOsito, lixao a merce da prOpria decadencia: eu atalaia avistando emboscadas, paranoia no encalco da cabeca fraca, de tanto penar, vagu ar, perder-se pelos labirinticos logradouros dessa meia cidade insana. digo meia porque ĂŠ o ue ha, o resto perdi num atimo, embora os avisos da chegada desse instante fossem exaust amente excessivos. ela: ela: eta: ĂŠ preciso repetir para que algo se estreme a, mesmo que mem6ria, ou se funda, embargando a flssao iniciada, quando se deu nao via: preparacao, danos assim, praticamente irreparaveis, nao ha cursos para eles, terapias, empre a justa saia, cueca a mat): foi assim, ela se foi: helena. quem eta?, quem de vestido, bruxuleante e ansiosa tez alva, tons castanhos de cabelos longos, olhos de me perdoar, quern de voce que nOs arrogant s amamos se dois de urn mesmo e ainda amenos quando eu, tremulando de dizer proibiciies vejo amparada por uma dor que tudo redime. perguntem-me de que a morte, quais intrigas vitimara suas celulas, que meandros ou nomenclaturas estavam por tras do estrago e posterior des tegrapao, no, sobre isso nada saberei responder, e assunto inatil. apreciaria falar de Sc ultimo penteado ou mesmo da palavratambem derradeira ou dos passos sorriso sonhos e coisas praticas saberei precisar apenas o cruzamento em que tudp se deu, claro a cor do s aforo no instante da perda ou. posso ter hoje quarenta, cinqtlenta, a tai ponto embren â€˘do nas insignificancias da vida que seria inutil me explicar, tentar no rot das importancias ordinarias uma resposta para os que me tomam por louco. por isso o menos falo, tambem II rque ela me entende o bastante para que nao haja necessidade de acrescer dialogos ao meu otidiano. desde entao os flashes, BRA7_ZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
a fulguracao mais ou menos tepida daquilo que entretanto jamais nomearia de al uc inacao. sei que é ela se ins inuando, usando helena como subterfugio, coma se mostrando o que teria la do outro lado, nao, minha cara, eu já sei o que existe em todos os pontos das coordenadas euclidianas. chegarei a margem como de costume, estancarei meus passos diante do cruzamento: pronto: para a revanche, para a sua faria prestes a verter venenos ousados, serei a mais sOlida vontade, de concreto e aco, nao, desde aquele dia que tenho coragem, enfrentei heroicamente meu medo, travamos injusta batalha: nao venci, nao era parater triunfos ouderrotas: mas tendo subjugado a mim mesmo, exigiu meu cerebro urn preco e a ele sou fiel ate o fim: e a cidade? a cidade? a cidade? confusa geografia a me cuspir... ha o cruzamento e dizem que de la, do outro lado, existe um manancial de maravilhas, que tantas e tAo grandes novidades brotam como fossem milagres, mas nao me iludo, sei que nao me posso veneer, estender o meu dominio alem dessa banda de ca: venha corn premios, recompensas, promessas, nada disso me corrompera. dal a furia, o engendramento de inumeras artimanhas e sim, sei o que ela quer e o que quer sei tambem que somente eu posso the dar, por isso as novidades, uma vitrine nova, estampando meus I ivros preferidos em edicOes faustosas, mesmo lojas expondo sua lingerie preferida, esse o ardil que quase pôs tudo a perder, porque sei da impossibilidade de atravessar, mas sabera assim tao arraigadamente o meu raciocinio? que desconfio eu dessas coisas funcionais, da possibilidade do impassive!? desarranjo se em suas ruas, mesmo um terreno, endereco certo, erigiram urn templo, la onde vertem desesperos em pardos de prece, percebendo que essa imponente e putrida arvore procria seus frutos robustos, e que as polpas podem nutrir o born ou o mau e que aqui, curvo-me frente a uma presenca incerta, auferindo os graos de uma ceifa aleatOria, o que lhe fiz?, concordando que praguejar nao me trara de volta, protelando golpes em urn deus de ceramica, ou o barro covarde corn o qual me tramaram, ambos mesma materia, puto, extravaso, por que helena?, por fim os flashes. que perfidias rondam a sua vontade para descer a tanto? dos seus concretos ela expele um jato que em muito se assemelha aquela que se foi, helena, mesmo em poses sensuais num canto de muro, outrora implorando (sim, 36
ela fala) que va ao seu encontro: ela sempre do outro lado, da metade que ja ,nao conheco a nao ser de uma visAo breve, sem entretanto de pisar ou apalpar. verdade, todos as dias you ate la, 7:rotina que devo seguir A risca, outro Tesquicio da minha luta, helena: a cidade percebe tudo, estou sujo ate os ossos do seu encalco; e ela pode de mim tentar que quiser: no you ceder, sei d impossibilidade de the entregar o qu deseja, sei contudo e tambem que nao h muitomais o que suportar alern da certeza que ladra ao lado da ansia que experiment° ao pensar que posso colocar tudo a perder e para issobasta urn aceno seu, feito de segredo nosso, de modo que ninguem (?)mais compartilha, quern sabe o demonio?, ou o meu fim, nao fosse o que se tornou agora a minha mente, um antro de impossibilidades arrasando o que antes era apenas v6o. todayia tornouse mais: uma furna de novidades, onde talvez a sua reencarnagao ou para ser mais exato; a sua literal concretizacao: ela, me diz que voce, helena, tornou-se concreto, espalha-se por muros, predios, lares e end° devo ceder, ousar o passo a mais ou que crescam novamente as asas e que elas sim, me conduzam. ela que inerte em seu caixao implora uma visita que anseio por fazer, um assunto que retomaremos, resolvendo assim o que de fato, a nao ser, sim, truque, quica urn exercito corn armas precisas, cada soldado a ousar uma pontaria apurada, por que ela, compreendo, me quer a seu lado e entAo meu medo de retornar ao que de mais puro, nlo haveriatemor se simples o final, e um encontro planejado descerrariamos os instintos de uma dura sobrevivencia, amparados pelos vicios do amor canhestro, mas a &Arida, o que ela deseja, helena?, por que eu?, de fe abaulada que em rodopios me faz pensar o que de deus para a magoa que retomo cada instante redobrada, servo revoltado corn pagamento injusto, que tanto me dediquei que mereco semelhante recompensa?, tento o cerebra para uma guerra iniqua, a ferrugem tragando meus fuzis, o que de maldito naquele carro que desobedeceu urn sinal correto, trafegando deliberadamente na linha de seu peito, quando ela para mim, o que de culpa, corria voluptuosa adensando sorrisos ntuna face que era minha remissao, percebi que jamais, palavra fundida, eu-jamais, o corvo a repetir, entoando cantos ironicos, eu-humilhado, eu-torpe, eu-tudo exceto voce. quern para aten er ao chamado?, recorrer as garras que mesmo de unhas horrendas sabe acarinhar?
voce é a cidade, helena?, e o que me resta? o que desejam? mesmo assim, tAo rigido e frio, quereria-os (cimentos e tijolos) como cola para mim. al reside a minha fragilidade e entao preciso de uma vontade tesa para nao deliberar ultrapassado o querer anterior saindo em debandada contra a decisao que tomei: nAo ser o que sei, poderia me tornar hoje. ela joga sabiamente comigo, maneja as pecas corn experiencia secular: saberemos disso quando, helena, eu sair em disparada rumo ao seu regaco (ou) disfarcar corn um grito o estampido rouco de urn disparo a queima-roupa (e) aqui do quarto, bairro, cidade?, espirito engolfado, vejo-me confmar em suas visceras, ingenuo, recluso em urn lar que IA° passa de uma fracao de seu teffitario, o corpo metido num linho charmoso, tons cinza para (seu?) dia vermelho, linhas delimitando excluindo agregando passos certeiros moradia definitiva, helena, essa fatalidade que nos cingiu, agora compreendo o qua° vigiado, e que ha um vigor brotando desse fruto novo, empenhados na militancia de uma ciencia que me tern comocobaia, irei ao seu encontro, helena, o mais rapid° que puder.
Hunger I kissed my dad and my mouth got burned, I tried to wipe it out, away from them, with all the cloths and waters that I had, I felt the impossibility, I retreated, in despair, looking for shelter on my pillow. WHISNER FRAGA
Que estava tudo acertado para o jantar, jamais saberia uma crianca de dez BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
anos, estranho talvez, ainda preocupada corn os deveres da escola e corn a data de entrega dos livros da biblioteca, eu, disseme a me para descer as sete, respeitar a hora, no, nao estava chorando, embora olhos embacados, o que é isso, meu filho, deixe de besteira, mesmo urn tapa de leve na cabeca, mas nao provocasse muito, seja bonzinho, dizem elas, entao o banho, primeiro eu, depois cuide de sua irma, meu filho, eta menor, oito anos, teria que ajeitar a nossa roupa, mesmo banha-la, vesti-la, queria-nos juntos, que descessemos a escada em caracol, suntuoso adereco para satisfazer a megalomania de meu pai quando da construcao do palacete, olhei o relOgio na parede, ainda tres horas, mas mamae, ensaiei dizer, inquirindo sobre o saldo de horas que nos cabia para tarefas tao rapidas, e ninguem deixou transparecer uma pista, eramos assim protegidos, so que tambem, é, poderia ser uma surpresa, calculei os dias que restavam para alguma data importante, elas muito longe, aniversario, natal, pascoa, lembrei-me de que eles gostavam de surpresas e dessa forma já ganhara presentes em dias normais, outrora extraordinarios para mim, podia ser que uma festa nos aguardasse, bolo, lingua-de-sogra, bala de leite ninho, bornbocado, uma outra loucura major do que a do dia em que papai me trouxera um maverick, undo carrinho com controle remoto e para minha irma uma boneca que chorava e fechava os olhos para dormir, de novo coisa semelhante?, a incumbencia seria uma especie de preco a pagar, a obediencia, se fizesse tudo direitinho receberia o premio, caso contrario, se descessemos antes e assim descobrindo a farsa de ambos, seriamos punidos com o silencio, talvez um tapa, uma bronca certamente, e poriamos a perder, sete horas: claro. Prontos, arrumados, inventamos brincadeiras para que o tempo voasse, mesmo nOs nao conseguiamos pensar em outra coisa que nao a surpresa, estariam enchendo os bal6es?, teriam chamado nossos amigos da escola para ajudarem?, de la nab sentiamos cheiro de guloseimas, nem indicios de qualquer preparativo na cozinha, claro, mamae nunca trabalharia em dia de festa, teriam pedido a titia, eta sim, confeiteira de mao cheia, preparava em sua casa, traria a hora combinada corn mamae, tambem eta pontual, sete horas, certamente todos cantariam parabens para voce, fazendo-se de bobos, eles sabem que nao é nosso aniversario, sO que deviam nos preparar esse ambiente !Odic°, sei hoje, para que crescessemos felizes, acho que isso, felicidade, embora pouco a tivessemos, afinal, sonho deles. BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Desciamos, dois anjos de maos dadas, quando avistei garcons, educadamente de preto, portando bandejas ainda cheias de salgados e algumas com refrigerantes, muitos parentes falavam com mamae, embora tenha divisado tambem urn caixac no meio da sala, urn tanto distante da porta principal e antes que olhasse para o esquife, tentando descobrir quem habitava, pressenti minha irma horroirizada, embora ate hoje nao saiba se ela desconfiasse, mas meupai, ele sim, estava morto. Mamae tentou nos acudir, mas graves, resolvemos completar a nossa missa , percebi que eles se dirigiram para n6., olhares de do, culpa, magoa, ficasse quietos, isso era pior do que a mantil a de morte que cobria o nosso bar. Um sentiment° intoleravel de pa' r nos aproximou, nada como o perigo e a dor para unir as pessoas, e abracam is mamae, tentamos em seu ventre u acordo, queriamos nos esconder daquil vac, ver o seu pai, ela disse, e n o queriamos dali arredar urn pe, mas is costumes exigiam da gente uma desp dida, homenagem, eramos filhos e ague a morte nos pertencia tambem, apesar e nao nos atribuirem a ela fracao de cub • a, obvio, Martha agarrada a minha cintura ordenava um caminho diferente, mas devia obedecer, a vida assim, de submissao sem justificativa, se eu fosse, ela me seguiria, apesar, e nao cobrariam de uma crianca de oito anos se ela resolvesse cobrir o rosto com minha camisa semi-enterrada na bermuda, contudo nao eu, agora o homem da ca$a. Dei urn beijo em meu pai e minia boca queimou-se, tentei me limpar, já longe deles, com todos os panos e ág as de que dispunha, senti a impossibilida e, recuei, desesperado, procurando refil io em meu travesseiro, crianca desampara a, em tomb a divisei, chorosa demais p ra sua pouca idade, veio me abraca e descobrimos nesses dois tormentos m fragmento de forca, ficariamos o quartinho, onde pedirnos que os deixassem. Em breve eta, a pequena Mari ia, disse-me de uma fome que a afligi e notei um fundo de suplicio em sua fr se, eu teria que me levantar e ir a cozi a, trazer-lhe algo, tentei inicialme te convence-la a se livrar desses pe samentos ruins, mas eu sabia de uma cab ca como a dela, eujá tivera a mesma id de, nem meu olhar desesperado a faria m ar de iddia, eu tambem em panic° por ue para chegar a comida teria que pa sar pelo meu pai, a sala no camin o, inevitavel. A nao ser coetonseguisse a aten äo
de urn dos garcons, apeguei-me a esta opcao, jamais os olhos fechados e o nariz cheio de algodao, a pele macilenta, fria, horroroso meu pai, quando cuidadosamente, para que fiat) visse mais do que desejava, entreabri a porta e chamei por um deles, que estava prOximo ao nosso quarto, mas sem sucesso, tao concentrado estava em sua tarefa, Marilia vendo seu irmao covarde, embora tanto quanto eu, nenhum dos dois querendo ousar, mas mamae me dissera para protege-la e ela corn fome era urn problema que me dizia respeito, reuni tudo de coragem que conhecia, tentei pensar em coisas boas, na festa que achei teriamos, desenho animado, em V irgilina, minha namoradinha: abri a porta e sal. Maos cobrindo os olhos, calculei serem necessarios vinte e cinco passos para chegar a cozinha, enquanto eles anteviam algum vacilo, no entanto nao ousaram influenciar no curso do destino, vinte e dois, vinte e tres, vinte e quatro, vinte e cinco, tornei o corpo para a direita, um, dois, tres, papai, deitado, o algodao manchando seu rosto palido, a minha frente, calculara errado, passos pequenos demais, a minha educacao reprimindo o grito, jA forjado e no entanto encravado dentro de mim, corni para a cozinha, quem me deteria para uma palavra de consolo?, tanta comida que comecei a chorar e a juntar alguns salgados numa trouxinha para Marilia, por que ela nao saira urn tanto mais destemida?, ao mesmo tempo em que sentia uma raiva tremenda por me verem assim, vulneravel, o homem da casa, que sera de nOs amanha, eu teria pensado, mas sO via o caminho de volta e desesperado, ajoelhei-me, pai nosso que estais no ceu, dai-me forca e coragem, minha nossa senhora, apelando para todas as oraciies, descobri-me desamparado, encolhi-me num canto, apertava os salgados contra o peito, mesmo quentes nao sentia, a nao ser as pernas tremulas, de quem nao daria conta de correr sem escorregar, levar uns tombos, papai, sussurrei, sO que senti ainda mais medo porque agora ele podia estar em toda a parte da casa, tao espirito, um fantasma e certamente, mesmo sendo seu filho, viria me assombrar, nao que quisesse, almas nao raciocinam e tambem nao tem nocao de que as tememos, mas por brincadeira, era assim papai, nos assustava por nada. All perto, ela tambem em panico por se descobrir sozinha, mamae nao nos acudiria, tao ocupada chorando ao lado do morto, meu pranto, inicialmente contido, foi tomando forma enquanto pensava que 1Viarilia tinha fome e que deveria cuidar de minha irma. 37
Aquila's Spell To believe in the mathematic that drewthem apart, she working the whole day, arriving dusk home, he the night shift, more money, saving for the coming baby, off-duty days that didn't match and coincided, fatigue overcoming the longing WHISNER FRAGA Quando sexta-feira, noite, passou cabisbaixa pela vizinha atenta, sem cumprimenta-la apesar do oi mexeriqueiro, mecanicamente abriu a porta de casa, nao esperava encontrar Nicanor e, de fato assim foi melhor, já no trabalho hora dessas, cansada muito para um desconsolo, banho, antevia a banheira cheia de uma agua reconfortante, o dia duro, de telefonemas engracadinhos, informacees que podiam encontrar mesmo no catalog° e era obrigada a todas as delicadezas, all sentia-se dona de algo, nem que o vislumbre de uma liberdade tardia porem essencial. Se ele nao estava, parecia tanto the fazer, iddia que a assustava porque uma especie de obrigacao para corn esse amor 38
que no podia se expirar por um motivo remediavel, nan se encontrarem ha sete dias, dali a pouco as ferias, a telefonica prometera, mas facilitar assim?, podiam nao precisar dela, meio descartavel a sua especie de funcionario, arriscar, ao mesmo tempo uma felicidade tao facil e legitimamente exposta, umamacamadura ao alcance, uma forca lhe agindo, quase impossivel-estender o braco. Filhos? Era entan que se sentia menos mulher, nunca the inchara a barriga, disposta as dos a que de direito, jamais que deixaria uma criatura sua entregue aos cuidados de outra, era assim que sabiam prorrogada a confeccao de sua criatura, entretanto duradouro demais o adiamento, eta já beirando os quarenta, era uma desafortunada, por que nao encontrara urn homem melhor, corn trabalho diferente, horario normal, como os demais?, punia-se por raciocinar desta maneira, temia-se capaz de egoismos entranhados, resistiria um pouco mais. Se filhos, estaria gritando por eles, claro que a esta hora em casa, propensos a carinhos, espantando a solidao que jã se adensava, sorrateira. Acreditar na aritmetica que os separava, eta trabalhando o dia todo, chegando crepusculo em casa, ele o horario noturno, o dinheiro a mais, a poupanca para o bebe que viria, folgas que se desencontravam e se coincidiam, o cansaco superando a saudade, as caricias minguadas apesar da paixao ferrea, resistindo corn subterffigios ao enferrujar inevitavel, dois herois. Acumular pequenas raivas, urn dia a gota d'agua, nao era o que desejava para ambos, tao bonita de noiva, a delicia de promessas que nao importa cumpridas, daf depara-se corn a toalha ainda num toque sentindo a pele do marido, de novo tocada e portant° entregue, frio por dentro s6 de pensar em larga-lo, romantismo que the rendeu alguns instantes bregas, diziam as fofoqueiras, se fosse assim, que viessem as musicas do Amado Batista, receio do ridiculo?, na sua condicao?, tambem os bilhetes, quando exporia a paixao em clichés, uns maiores que os outros, era a medida do que a carcomia, se guardasse para si, explodir-se em contencoes. 0 perfume, um halito rubro na nuca assim que fechou os olhos, restava-lhe respirar ofegante, desejo sofreado arrastando 'as maos, percorrendo a pele obediente, um prazer que jamais solitario, pela presenca dele, era o seu jeito de evitar o arrefecimento, ele compreendia quando falavam disso e ate na corn o canto dos olhos, meio mordido de clime, depois percebendo que fazia por ele, era
quando o corpo fatigado se renovava e entao transavam na mesma cama em que agora ela apertava o travesseiro. Banho lento, depois o café, encontraria xicaras sujas, corn urn pouco de culpa zombaria do desmazelo de Nicanor, tambem estaria contente porpoder chegar a boca a borda e saber os labios de seu homem, agora provavel que preocupado apenas corn o trabalho, maldito, por que so eta se desassossegar por ambos?, possivel que ele nem se desse conta de suas inquietacoes. Quando a campainha. Quem a essa hora? Nicanor que sofrego, embaralhava palavras, homem, o que é isso?, desse jeito voce sofre um ataque do coracao!, impaciente, mas muffler, teria que ter calma para ambos e assim esperou que se recuperasse, ja pensando em desgraca, jamais saira antes do fim do expediente, enfrentariam juntos, urn modo de fortalecer o relacionamento, vencer desafios, o raciocinio ao estilo da empresa, somos uma equipe, pessoal!, montaria a sua tambem, de exlmios jogadores, o que, meu bem, fate, ele sem engasgar the disse dos cortes nos gastos, das demissOes, de planos a e b, como se justificasse seus patrOes, entendera logo, despedido, o que fariam?, quem se desesperava agora era eta, mexer na poupanca, adiar o filho, suportaria mais esse baque?, quando ele acrescentou o que faremos?, eta inteira Piedade, deveria ser este seu nome nao fosse Rosa, que tambem encerra uma ponta de 16gica, sshhh, foi o que sussurrou, apertando-lhe a mao, vestindo a pele de martir, regozijava-se, dali a pouco estaria de joelhos, fosse esta uma hist:Via catolica, que esparge ritos assim, nao sendo, conduziu seu homem ao quarto, onde sustiveram um abraco angustiado, embora timidos, nao pela educacao rigida, que nao eram das Minas Gerais, mas pelo tempo sem contato, perdidos em si, e entao, mesmo amantes, nao ousavam a liberdade dos toques, entreolhando-se entretanto silenciosos, maos dadas inconscierites da prisao, nao sabiam o que seria dali pra frente. Nan sabiam mais. In the original these short stories are called "o homem de meia cidade, " "A Fome," and "Feitico de Aquila." Whisner Fraga, from Ituitaba, state of Minas Gerais, is the author of Inventdrio do desassossego, a novel, and Coreografia dos danados and Concerto em dor menor, both short-story books. He can be contacted at whisnerziamail.com.br
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
On the northern tip of the littoral of Bahia state, in northeast Brazil, those weary and stressed out from the big city can calm their nerves hearing the susurrus of rolling waves and admiring picturesque sunsets. The tiny village of Mangue Seco is so remote from civilization that the obstacles in trying to get there keep the tranquil town from being overrun by tourist masses. As public phones and daily newspapers are nowhere to be found, the concerns of the world melt away in the hot sun and refreshing Atlantic waters. Mangue Seco, which had been a sleepy fishing village until TV broadcaster Globo made a telenovela (soap opera) of Jorge Amado's classic Tieta in 1989, has now become a hot spot for tourists who want to enjoy the unblemished beauty of the Bahian coast. The small fishing village sits alongside the Rio Real (Royal River), whose gently lapping waters reflect the crimson sunsets hovering over the southern bank of Sergipe state. A 15-minute walk through a dry mangrove field—from which the town derives its name—leads you to one of the most expansive beaches in the country. At low tide, the beach is wider than, and just as flat, as a soccer field. My friends and I spent hours playing that old American pastime, Frisbee, which we carried on into the knee-high sea. In fact, I had to wade some 20 yards into the ocean before there was space enough for me to dive below the surface of the low waves. One of the area's main attractions (and chief threats) is the shifting sand dunes that separate the town and sea just BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
south of the dry mangrove fields. Ov time, the dunes have swallowed up entir coco plantations and just the tops of th trees are left poking through. The best way to experience the rol ing dunes is to take a ride in a buggy. F r a fifteen-minute ride we careened up an down numerous inclines and declines. I the end I thought the R$ 20 (US$7) tri was a little weak and asked how much was to rent a buggy. The driver inform that they stopped rental services after a tourist tipped a buggy over. For a more exciting trip, request a ride "with emotion" and also to go as f r as the waterfall—two key elements I only discovered later. Although the ride itself was below expectations, I did see some amazing sights. At the top of one of the highest dunes, I had a view of at least a 15-mile radius that included the mouth of the Rio Real as it clashes with the Atlantic and miles of lush, green vegetation reachingback inland. I looked down below, a steep 20-meter drop, and to my surprise could see the entrance to Mangue Seco. Through the years, the sand dunes have advanced to the edge ofthe town and the citizens have fought back by sowing earth-holding plants and brush. "It is a constant battle," informed my driver. If dunes are not held at bay, the village might lose its soccer field in a few years time. The town of 300 inhabit-
Through the years, the sand dunes of Mango Seco have advanced to the edge of the town and the citizens have fought back by sowing earthholding plants and brush. MATTHEW FLYNN
ants boasts enough accommodation for characters enter a small town and disover a 1,000 visitors along with enough cover the whole population hypnotized bars and restaurants to serve everyone. by the static reception displayed on a TV One of the delicious local plates I had screen. was moqueca de aratuâ€”a type of crusta- â€˘ Apparently, Globo built the installacean that lives in the mangue. For des- tion so the town could watch Ti eta, and sert, I had home-made ice-cream at Doces the reception is decent enough to watch a de Dona Sula (Sweets of Lady Sula). soccer game. On the weekends, the small While lapping up my favorite tropi- building turns into a disco where the cal fruit, jaca (pronounced zchaca), Dona town's young strut their stuff. As I spent Sula told me the history ofthe village and Easter there in Mangue Seco, I was able of her distant relative Jorge Amado, to witness the ritual burning of Judas in Brazil's most famous relative who passed front of the small, brick building. "I best away August 6,2001. Back in the 1930s, pay my bill in full at the hotel and restauBahia's most famous writer fled Salva- rants," I thought to myself as the flames dor in order to escape persecution for his engulfed the effigy. communist sentiments. Isolated from the Just trying to get to Mangue Seco can society and the authorities, Amado was keep even the most intrepid travelers at inspired by the tropical paradise to write bay. If coming from the South, take the the romance Tieta do Agreste. Nowa- Linha Verde into Sergipe state until you days, both hotels and restaurants promi- will see a huge billboard Mangue Seco' nently display the actors and scenes from where you turn off to go to the port city of Globo's adaptation of the novel. Pontal. From there, you take a ferry or In the many of Brazil's small villages speed boat across the Rio Real and back and towns, there is usually some oddity over to the Bahian side. The other Souththat makes the visitor wonder "where did ern route to the fishing village is to drive this come from?" Mangue Seco is not up along the Bahian coast from Praia immune to this phenomenon. In the Costa Azul, preferably in a dune buggy. middle of the town square, diagonal from If choosing this route, be sure to ask the Doces de Dona Sula, is a small window- locals when is low tide. less building with a tiny television at one Coming from Aracaju, take BR 101 end. The place reminded me of the scene to Estancia then the paved road to the from Bye Bye Brasil; in which the main littoral which ends at Ponta do Mato from
where you have to rent a boat to Mangue Seco. At both Pontal and Ponta do Mato, there are parking lots to keep your car. Arriving to Mangue Seco, be prepared to be overrun by tourist guides. There are a number of nice hotels along the riverfront. I ended staying in the Pousada de Mangue Seco, which is run by a friendly Argentine couple. Though not on the riverfront, the hotel has a pool and offers a feast for breakfast for a mere R$ 13 (less than $5) per night. I did, however, have one scare. The second morning I was there, I found a dead bat on the pillow next to my head! I immediately checked my neck for two fang bites but found none. The Argentine said the animal must of flew in during the night and hit the ceiling fan. To date, I have not suffered from any bad luck. Just as it is hard to reach Mangue Seco, it is just as hard to leave. Dona Sula, who has worked in the education sector in the megalopolis of sao Paulo, is unsure whether or not she will return to the big city or stay in the family home. "I enjoy so much just meeting and chatting with new people," she mused. Personally, I think she will stay. The author, Matthew Flynn, a freelance writer living in Brazil, can be reached at mattMuai.com.br
1-888-7-BRASIL 1-888-727-2745 510- 655-9904 mariza@tropicaltourne 4170 Piedmont Ave., Oakland - CA 94511
BRAZZIL .SEPTEMBER 2002
The Club of Angels, by Luis Fernando Verissimo, trans. by Margaret Jull Costa (New Directions, 135 pp., $21.95)
like of which I had not tasted in a long time." Despite his name (hint: Lucifer), Lucidio seems to be a godsend. With the inert Beef Stew Club in mind, Daniel thinks: "Yes, a man who would risk his life for the taste of a deadly fish was precisely what we needed to restore our sense of unity and to haul us out of that spiral of bitterness and mutual recrimination into which Ramos' death had plunged us." Lucidio proves to be an exquisite chef. He manages to breathe life into the group, and yet at the same time... The Club of Angels can be regarded in part as a meditation on death, a jaunty exploration of the acceptance of fate, as possibly "a treatise or perhaps a novel about suicide," or even as a gastronomical caper along the lines of And Then There Were None. There are ominous quotations from King Lear, spoken at the end of each meal, and yet a grin in the exposition (the dialogue between Daniel and Lucidio, for instance) that recalls the wry, at times even corny prose of.16 Soares, the Riobased author of A Samba for Sherlock and Twelve Fingers. Luis Fernando Verissimo, born in 1936, is the son of writer Erico Verissimo, whose Brazilian Literature—to pull but one volume from the shelf—remains highly readable even after nearly sixty years. Like father, like son? It appears so. The Club of Angels, in its balance of levity and gravity, is a tasty morsel to be consumed with pleasure. The risk factor? For better or for worse, it's unlikely to kill you.
The CIUI3 lir)
What greater thrill is there than knowing AngelS that your next meal could kill you? For over two decades the ten members of the Beef Stew Club (so named "in honor °four past lives as ignorant gourmands") have been meeting monthly from March to December, rotating from one home to another, where each member in turn becomes responsible for providing dinner. In the early days, the appetite displayed by the participants at these suppers was assumed to represent the voracious appetite they had for the world at large. But none of the men Luis Fernando verysirto (childhood friends, mostly) would ever amount to much, and with the death of Ramos a couple of years earlier a lack of enthusiasm has threatened to dissolve the group. There's no surprise ending here, or is there? We know at the beginning of The Club of Angels, a literary soufflé of a book that is economically written, seasoned with humor and wit, solemnity and reflection, that all of the members of The Beef Stew Club have died—with the exception of our narrator, Dr. Daniel: "I'm not, in fact, a doctor, but I am rich, which is why they deferentially call me 'Doctor." The cascade of startling demises The cascade of demises begins shortly after Daniel makes the acquaintance of the enigmatic Lucidio, a begins after Daniel meets man of apparent refinement who tells Lucidio, a man of apparent Daniel of the secret society he belongs to that eats fugu fish, which can, if improprefinement who tells Daniel of a erly prepared, kill within minutes: secret society that eats fugu "There is nothing in the world that can compare with the taste of raw fugu, fish, which can kill within Daniel." And why is that? "The prospect of dying at any moment, in seconds, prominutes duces a chemical reaction that heightens the flavor of the fugu." BONDO WYSZPOLSKI Daniel is impressed, and more so after Lucidio prepares him "an omelet the
The Thrill of Eating
:the ,0eintfrtsb„aetk A thtoefu iu)111 apa.rtment, where we gather After the funeral, we,c7 "This ,. -study. , , ,, _, _. _ erai, Livia kept sayin_. embershi actne4S'Zi is 't* . or not? ...e next ho atter to be stpotd we stop holdingg the suppers , should be the next to die. order—Paulo ' Swdo d chose* , o we cancel ssitatio edhet't, said P ' said Samuel. "I think we ,.. o he main interested said Paulo. "The supper 1 P Pedro suggested that he,idio,'shotil c y portion suggested that we supervise the 0 e meal freedork.,ln shich t do his work. your e haveyou ever eaten 9Ps.t '
Bondo Wyszpolski also heads up the arts and entertainment section of the Easy Reader, a weekly newspaper based in the South Bay of southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com
full complement of the surviving Beef Ste ness. You must stop holding these suppers. OuabePedro. In alphabetical order--Since
"And there's another thing. If We start interfering in his work, " disappear. He'll 'd Tia "VVe're the ones who are disappearing," 'algo. "One by one. One a month. The k of ivook, but for lack of members. We're all „dying!" One Of „.Marcos' paintings which, a And n Paulo leaned back on thesno : fa" to free itself from the doality-of body and spirit—and the OneBeing ' dont know about you, but I,don't really care." BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Id decide what to male. I oo. Lucidio must have full fdlo's suppers?" II lease us.' 1) will come to an end
"We're back!" was the ecstatic cry heard in the early morning hours of July 31st in the Ballroom, a club in Rio's Zona Sul neighborhood, when Herbert Viannareturned to the stage and joined his bandmates Joao Barone (drums) and Bi Ribeiro (bass) of Paralamas do, Sucesso. This is the first time the complete three-member band has played live together since Herbert V ianna' s tragic ultra-light plane crash of Feb. 4, 2001 that killed his wife, Lucy Needham, and brought him to the brink of death, leaving him paraplegic. About one thousand fans pushed, jumped, and shouted when he came onstage in a wheel chair with his guitar in hand. He tore into "A Novidade" unleashing strong emotions from the entire crowd: laughter, whistling, applause, and many faces were bathed in tears of joy. Rightfully so: when Herbert was flown by helicopter to the Copa D' Or Hospital in Feb. 2001, the doctors gave him less than a 10 percent chance of survival. Herbert, 40, displayed his same stage presence of old times with the band. He smiled broadly as the crowd sang with him on "A Novidade" and he invited them to clap hands. Next, Bi Ribeiro whispered in the other musician's ears and they played "All I want to do" and "Cherry Oh Baby" by UB 40, (the latter also covered by the Rolling Stones). During both songs Herbert tools long guitar solos. Next the drums broke into "Meu Erro" (one of the band's most powerful songs in their live repertoire) completely overwhelming the crowd, inspiring spontaneous crowd participation: singing with Herbert in alternating verses. "Lift up your hands, all of you!" Herbert said, and instantly the crowd chanted a series of "Ee-Yeh-Oh's"â€”unassisted by Herbert altogether. "We're gonna play something new, something recently completed," Herbert announced. "A cabeca do malandro aqui voltou a ter urn minimÂ° operacional," Herbert joked, which roughly means, "My mind is back to minimum operation." The band began playing "Calibre" an unreleased song that will be on their new CD "Longo Caminho" (The Long Way). 42
Eu nao sei de onde vem o tiro Vivo sem saber ate onde estou vivo Eu nao sei o calibre do perigo. I don't know wherethe shot comes from I live not knowing how alive am I I don't know the caliber of danger. According to Herbert, the new CD is already recorded and will contain strong social and personal commentary. "I only had fragments of "Calibre" and I only recently completed this one. In this song, it's not about my personal situation: it's only a world view," he explained. "We have to go!" Herbert announced to the crowd. He could feel himself being inundated with hundreds of fans, so he beat a quick retreat, leaving the crowd to engage in nothing less than an all-night party (something not exactly unheard of in Rio, however, this was a particularly The band Paralamas do deliriously happy crowd). Drummer Joan Barone explained that Sucesso play live together for the the CD is currently being mastered in the first time since the accident that United States by producer Carlo Bartolini. Before the accident, Herbert and the nearly killed their leader, Herbert group had, in fact, announced that they would record a new CD scaling back Vianna. from an eight-piece band, to the drumsbass-guitar of their original rock/reggae/ samba roots. MIKE DOBRAN "It was difficult after the accident," Barone said. "I felt shocked, but things have worked out extremely well. We're all ready to play. Astral total," he said. In fact, the medical team that has supervised Herbert's recovery in his home, and also the doctors who worked with him at the Hospital Sarah, in Brasilia, Brazil's capital, agree wholeheartedly. They stated recently that despite his paralysis that confines him to a wheel chair, he is doing well and will lead an independent and normal life. In July, Herbert passed a series of medical exams, they said. His family stated that he chose treatment in Brazil, although he had received many offers of assistance to bring him to various clinics abroad that specialize in brain . . niko 'depois " and neurological injuries. . oslit Volts so palto dee , i sms WM perms The band's agent, Jose Fortes, says that they had been in the stuOs Persisins do Sueesso Mon= es envies dio for two months recording 11 nests MMUS e songs. "The process had been M novo disco em oulubro very slow, due to Herbert's recovery, but he is recuperating very
He Made It
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Paralarnas do Sucesso A novidade veio dar a praia Na qualidade rara de sereia Metade o busto de uma deusa maia Metade urn grande rabo de baleia A novidade era o maxim° Do paradox° escondido na areia Alguns a desejar seus beijos de deusa Outros a dese jar seu rabo pra ceia
6 mundo tao desigual well," he said. Before entering the studio the band practiced the new material in Herbert's house in Rio, which was essential to not only his physical and emotional well being, but also in improving his memory, which is still an ongoing challenge for him, according to Fortes. The band's label EMI has re-issued virtually the entire Paralamas do Sucesso catalog, and is gearing up for a late September international release of Longo Cam inho. Mike Dobran lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He works as an educator, student, and freelance writer. He has lived, and traveled in Brazil. You may contact him at montycheese4(&yahoo.com
Tudo tao desigual 0, o, o, o... De urn lado esse camaval De outro a fome total 0, 0, 0. o... E a novidade quo seria urn sonho 0 milagre risonho da sereia Virava urn pesadelo tao medonho Ali naquela prata, au i na areia A novidade era a guerra Entre o feliz poeta e o esfomeado Estracalhando uma sereia bonita Despedaeando o sonho pra cada lado
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"When I cook, I love to hear the sounds of the ingredients in the pans. They sing to me." While living in Brazil, one of my friends told me "Michael Jackson loves Brazilian food. He eats black beans, rice, and collard greens!" I chalked it up to another one of those Brazilian tall tales and I left it at that. Many years later, that statement would come back to haunt me when I moved from Rio to Los Angeles
and saw an article in a Brazilian newspaper entitled "Remi: Brazilian Cook to Michael Jackson and other Hollywood royalty". Instead of pulling my foot out of my mouth, I decided to put some of her food in it instead. My wife and! headed for the Copacabana Restaurant (no longer in business today) very near Hollywood and we tasted her food. And like the magic she has spun with the greats of Brazil and Hollywood, she captured our taste buds as well as our hearts. That was over 10 years ago. She is now retired and living in Los Angeles. And this year, she is being honored as the theme or enredo of the 7th Annual Brazilian Street Carnaval of Long Beach where Brazilians and Americans alike will pay tribute to this culinary artist.
Samba in Kitchen She has charmed the President of Brazil and Michael Jackson with her cooking. Hollywood and Brazilian Royalty has savored her cuisine. Now, Remi is being celebrated in song and parade prepared in her homage. DAVID DE HILSTER,
Brazzil: When did you first know you had a talent for cooking? Remi: I was 8 years old, living on a farm in the middle of Minas Gerais near Curvelo with my grandmother. I didn't stay with my mother or father very long. My grandmother raised me and she was a cook for dozens and dozens of workers on a big plantation. She needed me to help and at 8 years old, cooking came natural to me. After I became good at the age of 8, I began to cook by myself for the workers in the fields. I would get up at 3 in the morning, put wooden planks on my head, put everything I needed to cook for 20 men, 3 meals and walked for hours to the fields. When they came to eat they would say: "What is this little girl doing here? Are you kidding? She is going to cook for us?" But they soon learned that I could cook very well and began to like me. Brazzil: So you didn't have much of a childhood then. Remi: I had some. I used to take my dolls and a toy stove with me when I was cooking for the men in the fields. It was very ironic. There I was cooking for lots of big men in the fields every day and right next to the real fire, I played with my dolls and toy stove cooking for my dolls. BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
One day, the patrilo (master) came by and yelled at me and kicked my dolls and stove and said, "you should be working!" But the men in the field told him to leave me in peace and said I cooked very well and to let me play. I was only 8 or 9 you know.
a French name." That's how I got the nickname "Remi". I tell English speakers to say my name like "Hey me" and they get it right the first time. From then on, everyone uses my nickname "Remi". Never Raymunda. Just on official documents.
Brazzil: You went from field cook to personal cook of more and more powerful people. How did that happen? Remi: It was a slow but steady process. Once in a while I would cook for the farm owners in their house when the regular cook was gone. And when that happened, the owners would say "this food is incredible! Who cooked it?" They soon discovered even though I was very young, my food was satisfying to them and soon I was cooking regularly in the owners' main house. Big people would come to the house and meet with the big farm owner and I would cook them a special meal. The guest would say the same thing: "This food is incredible! Who cooked it?" Once they found out it was me, they invited me to cook at their homes. I moved from house to house that way, cooking for farm owners, business people, and even politicians.
Brazzil: What's this about a politician building a road, bus stop, and school for you? Is that true? Remi: Yes. That was very strange. It happened in Sao Paulo. I had a small house in the suburbs of Sao Paulo when I was there cooking for politicians and others. Once, the local politician took m home in his private car and when I pointed to my house he said, "Remi! That is where you live?" My house was ye humble with a dirt street and the bus sto was very far away. He told me "I will fi this!" I went back to Rio for a short whil and when I returned again to my house i Sao Paulo, he gave me a ride again. H wanted to show me that he had fixes
Brazzil: And the reactions were always the same? Remi: Yes, they all loved my food. Brazzil: Eventually you madeyour way to Rio and started cooking for powerful politicians of Brazil including the president. You must have seen a lot. Remi: I worked in Rio in an apartment where all the top politicians and presidents met. It was near Posto 1 (on the beach) in Leme, near Copacabana beach. The first president I cooked for in the apartment was Juscelino Kubitschek. The second president I cooked for was Jan io Quadros. After the military coup in 1964, I stayed there still cooking for all the former politicians. Brazzil: I know your name is Raymunda Vila Real. Where did the nickname "Remi" come from? Remi: Juscelino Kubitschek was needing money for his campaign and a big businessman with lots of money helped fund his campaign. His name was Sabastiao Pais de Almeida. He traveled a lot around the world and one day he said to me, "Raymunda. That is not a chef's name. Your name will be 'Remi'. It sounds French and a chef should have BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
things for me. "I had them pave the road, put in a bus stop at your door, and even put in a nice garden near the bus stop." I guess he felt bad for me. Since I cooked for so many people who had a good life probably he thought that I had to live in a decent place. Before I got out of the car, he said, "That is not enough! I will build a school here for you also!" I came back the next year and there was a school. Brazzil: How did you come to the United States and specifically, Hollywood? Did you always want to come to the United States? Remi: When I was very small in Minas Gerais I used to see airplanes flying over the jungle. I asked my grandmother what they were. She said they were airplanes. I asked her where they were going and she said, "The United States." I turned to her and said, "Someday I will go there too." As I started to go from house to house meeting more and more important people, I ended up in Rio de Janeiro where I cooked for the top politicians of the country including the Brazilian President. Of course, they met with the most popular people of that day and one of them in the 1960s was Sergio Mendes who was becoming well-known in the United States. I cooked for him several times and he asked me if! wanted to go to the United States to cook for him. I thought to myself, why not? So I got the papers I needed from my politician friends and they let me go. I went to Los Angeles to Sergio's house and the first meal I cooked was for he and Dick Van Dyke. I cooked for many people in Hollywood because Sergio was popular with the stars and! met many famous people. I really enjoyed meeting them too. Brazzil: You once befriended a carpenter making a sound room for Sergio Mendes. Tell me about that. Remi: When! was living with Sergio Mendez, he hired a carpenter to build a sound room for him at his house. I became good friends with the young man and would talk and cook for him. He had a good appetite and drove a red pickup truck! But then one day he disappeared and I didn't see him anymore. Many years later! was driving along the highway in Los Angeles and I saw a red pickup truck driving next to me honking his horn. It was the same guy! We stopped along the road and hugged and talked a while and then he went on his way again. He told me he had been in some movies and was doing fine. It was 45
Remi and Quincy Jones
nice to see him! Brazzil: What was his name? Rem i: He did that Star Wars movie and the other series, you know, with the horse and treasures. Brazzil: Harrison Ford? Remi: Yea, that's him. He is such a nice man. Brazzil: You and Quincy Jones have a special relationship. How did he become such a big fan of yours? Remi: Eventually, I cooked for almost every movie star and musician in Hollywood. I met Quincy once at a dinner I cooked for some other musician. He loved my food and asked me if he could come and do something very important. He told me that he wanted to be Michael Jackson's producer but every time he invited Michael to his house, Michael would never eat. He asked me if he could get Michael to eat some of my food. He said that Michael was a vegetarian and very picky about what he ate. I said I would try. I went to Quincy's house and there I met Michael for the first time. I took him aside and told him, "Let me make you something very special. I know how to cook very healthy food from Brazil. All natural, all vegetarian. You will like it." He agreed. I made him some black beans, collard greens,farofa (toasted, seasoned cassava flour) and some other things, and he ate four plates full! Quincy was kissing me all night long and from that time, he has called me many times to cook for him.
Brazzil: Your trip on the part ofregular life there. But in the United Michael Jackson's Thriller tour. States, people cared about what they put into their bodies and! had to learn a lot of Tell me how that came about. Remi: That is another very things quickly. I am an artist in some way amazing story. I was living in West and being a cook, I learned to have a Los Angeles in a small apartment "love for people". I cared about whether when I got a phone call. The person they got a belly-ache from eating my on the phone asked me to look out- food not only because it needs to be side. He said, "See the limousine? prepared fresh—I always did that—but Get in it, now!"! told him! could not because of the ingredients themselves. I because I was taking care of a per- started substituting different meats in the son offthe street and could not leave traditional Brazilianfeijoada (see recipe him. They said that they would send box) and cooking lots of things vegetarsomeone to look after the person ian. right away and for me to get into the It was fun for me to cook this new way car. I told them I had to change my because in the end I care about the taste clothes because I was all dirty from of the food. I learned that food could be cleaning. They didn't care. Finally, not only a wonderful experience, but also I agreed when the man arrived to 0000 OOOOO • • • • • • • • • • • • take care of my guest and I was taken to a big building in Beverly • Hills and up to the very top pent- • house. It was very luxurious. When Remi moved to the United The man on the other side of the States, she learned much about nudesk handed me a ticket and said, "You trition. So much so that she even are going to the airport right now. Here changed the recipe of the tradiis your ticket." I asked him why. He tional feijoada. Instead of pork's explained to me that Michael Jackson feet, lard, and Portuguese sausage, was having stomach aches and specifishe made substitutions with more cally requested me to be his "nutritionnutritious meats containing less fat. ist" on the Thriller tour. He was feeling sick to his stomach and refused to go on Remi's Feijoada stage until they sent me to be his private cook. They were all very nervous. They Ingredients: Meats: lean passaid they were losing millions of dollars trami, bacon, and turkey sausage. in canceled shows and I had to go right Soak the black beans overnight. then. Cut up bacon into small bits and fry I told them I could not and could with garlic and onion until golden only go in the morning. After a lot of brown. Then throw in the beans, arguing, they agreed to let me go home meat, and water to get the right and they picked me up early in the thickness. morning and I was off to Birmingham Alabama. I spent eight weeks with Remi's Salsa Michael and his family on the road during the tour. It was an incredible trip Remi's Brazilian salsa is based I will never forget. on the familiar molho campanha • very familiar to Brazilians, which Brazzil: Did you become friends is a loose mixture of tomato, onwith him? ions, and peppers. Remi wanted to Remi: We became friends and I saw improve on the looks and taste and him numbers of times after that. I viscame up with a salsa that the Hollyited him in the hospital when his hair wood elite have come to adore caught on fire and I saw him once in a Here are the ingredients. while at an award's show or party. Brazzil: They didn't call you Michael Jackson's chef. They called you his nutritionist didn't they? Remi: Yes. When first I came to the United States, I started learning from other chefs about what is healthy and not healthy. In Brazil, we didn't worry about what ingredients we used or what happened to someone if they ate something that made them sick. That was just
• • • • • • • ••
Ingredients: white & red onions, bell peppers, oregano, red wine, vinegar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and olive oil. You can buy a jar of Remi's mouth-watering and tangy salsa over the Internet by going to the website: www.grillfromipanema.com.
• • •
• • • • • OOOOOOOOOOOOO • • • • BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
be nutritious and healthy. I know I must have succeeded because Michael Jackson ate my food and he is very, very particular about what he puts into his body. But because Michael is so big, I got a lot ofattention around the world during the Thriller tour because they called me his nutritionist. I did after all make him stop having tummy-aches during his tour and he did not have any problem with food while I cooked for him. 0 Globo Television in Brazil did a report on me on the show FantasticÂ° talking about me as Michael Jackson's nutritionist. A Japanese magazine also did a story on Michael Jackson's nutritionist. Then I guess I was not a cook or chef to them. I was a "nutritionist". But today, I feel that part of being a chef IS being a nutritionist. Brazzil: Now we can't do this interview without talking about your famous salsa. How and when did you come up with it? Remi: That was a very long road! When I lived in Rio and was cooking for the politicians, I think it was 1957, I wanted to improve the looks and taste of the molho campanha (campaign sauce). Molho campanha was always made with different sizes of tomatoes and onions and sometimes with peppers and it often was in a very thin sauce of water and vinegar. I wanted to improve it. So I cut up all the ingredients to be equal and made a more interesting sauce and everyone liked it. But because of all the politics in those days, the politicians didn't worry too much about the salsa then. It wasn't until I came to the United States that I made the salsa again and then it took off. I made it once in 1968 when I was living and cooking for Sergio Mendes. But the time it became really popular was when I cooked for Sidney Poitier, during a dinner for the movie Out of Africa. I was making Bo-Bo, and African dish for Sidney and a famous African musician. Everyone loved it and people started asking for it. Sidney's wife asked me to make a big jar of it so she could put it on apple pie! That was very amazing! My salsa which is spicy on apple pie? Brazzil: There's a story about you, your salsa, and Quincy Jones in Madison Square Garden, during the Michael Jackson Thriller tour. Tell me about that. Remi: Yes, Quincy Jones loves my salsa. Quincy first tasted my salsa and became addicted to it at Sidney's (Poitier) house. Once in Madison Square Garden, BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
I just got done preparing the special tea I made for Michael Jackson and placed it all around the backstage area for him to drink during the show. When I was done, I then went back in the back of the auditorium and waited for the show. All of a sudden, there was a pounding at the microphone and the crowd went wild. They yelled "Michael, Michael", screaming and yelling. Then all of a sudden I hear my name. "Remi, Remi!" over the sound system. I didn't believe it at first but it was Quincy. "Remi, return to Los Angeles, there is no more salsa!" Quincy had run out of salsa before the show and wanted more. He was always playing jokes. That was very funny. I will never forget that. Brazzil: Once I heard that Quincy Jones had all his brothers line up and kiss your feet. Is that true? Remi: I will never forget that. The Jones boys loved my cooking and always made their wives write down the recipe. I even dictated recipes over the phone to them all over the United States. But they said it never tasted quite like what I make. One day, they were so happy to eat my cooking again at Quincy's house, that Quincy came to me and said: "Remi, come here! You must come here outside." So I went outside to find all his brothers on their knees in a line waiting for me. They all came over and kissed my feet. It was very funny but they were serious. They were crazy for my cooking It was also the cachaca (sugar-cane liquor). They got very funny and friendly when they drank caipirinhas (margarita with cachaca). Brazzil: B.B. King once called yo the B.B. King of Cooking. Why do yo think you have cooked and related S i well with musicians? Remi: I think cooking and makin music is the same thing. Instead of instru ments, I have my pots and pans and stove Instead of notes, I have ingredients. In stead of music, I have the food I make B.B. King said that the sizzle and th crackling of the ingredients in my pan were a virtual symphony of delights and I never forgot that. Now when I cook, I love to hear the sounds of the ingredients in the pans They sing to me. Sammy Davis Junior said to me once "Remi, I wish I could just become ve small and jump into your pan of bean and eat and dance and dance". Brazzil: You used to cook for Tom Jobim and all his bossa nova friends. I
that right? Remi: Yes. That was incredible. I would cook for them all night. They would sit around playing, laughing, joking around. And after one party at one person's house, they would go to another. What music. What emotion. Brazzil: You spent much of your time in the United States in Beverly Hills. Remi: I lived many years in Beverly Hills with Mr. Feldstein, a clothes manufacturer who traveled a lot. He bought Lucille Ball's home and I lived in an apartment in the back. I would cook and do some cleaning. It was a very beautiful home and neighborhood. I loved it there. Brazzil: Tell me some of the people you have cooked for in Hollywood. Remi: I have cooked for so, so many people. I once cooked for Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor alone in Michael's house. That was very special. I have cooked for Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Eddie Murphy, Dick Van Dyke, Sugar Ray Leonard, Magic Johnson, Bill Cosby, Willie Nelson, Herb Albert. So, so many. I just can't remember them all. I used to see Gregory Peck and James Stewart walking their dogs in the neighborhood and I would talk with them and got to know them. They were very wonderful men. Brazzil: This year you are being honored at the Brazilian Street Carnaval in Long Beach. How do you feel? Remi: It is so, so nice. Brazilian television has done stories on me. A Japanese magazine also did a story on me at the same time. But it was more because of Michael Jackson than about my cook-
Remi in Sao Paulo in the 1950s 47
mg. It is nice to be recognized by your own community. Your own people. Many times your own culture doesn't always appreciate you for what you have done. I know that the Americans and Brazilians in the Los Angeles community are honoring me and that is very special. But I am also happy for Brazil. We are known for futebol and samba. Not many people know about our food. And if I have helped people appreciate my country's rich culinary heritage, then I am very happy for the life I have had. Brazzil: The samba enredo or samba theme song this year was by composers Sonia Santos and Ana Gazzola. What was it like finally for a musician to honor you in song? Remi: I cried a lot. When Sonia first sang me the song, I cried. She and Ana
are poets. The words they wrote are pure poetry that describe my life so well and I looked back on my life and saw that it was a true. Brazilian story. Something that can be told to people of a small girl from Minas Gerais who has cooked for the common person and presidents and Hollywood stars. I just hope that I am worthy of such a song and parade and music. I have admired music all my life and it has always moved me in a special way. To have a song about me is such an emotion. I can only smile and say "maybe I have given something special to the world". After all, they are giving something very special to me now at Carnaval here in Los Angeles. Brazzil: Thank you Remi for your incredible food and equally incredible story.
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Remi: It is my pleasure! Remi has given the world her incredible culinary talents and has shown that the art of cooking, and more specifically Brazilian cooking, can universally satisfy even the most sophisticated palates. It only seems fit that she is honored in the grandest Brazilian way: during Carnaval, with a parade, costume, dance and, of course, music. After all, like feijoada, collard greens, cassava flour, and caipirinhas, she is a Brazilian national treasure and it is time that the rest of the world learn her story. David de Hilster is an American who lived in Brazil and is president of SambaLa Samba School in Long Beach, California. He also helps organize samba groups from around the world via his website www.worldsamba.org He can be reached at email@example.com
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BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Stancov, Patricia Bispo and Sandra Nagy. Quern Nilo Tern Clio Cava corn Cato (There's More Than One Way to Skin a Cat) Young Miroaldo leaves his small town to try his luck in Sao Paulo as a country singer. Things start to get messy and funny when he decides he does not want to be a star anymore and his twin brother Riroaldo takes his place. Written by Eduardo Lipiane directed by Sebastiao Apolonio, with Afonso Nigro (from defunct band Domino) Monica Lopez e Fernando Lyra Junior. Reveillon (New Year's Eve). Tragicomedy. One day (December 31, 1973) in the life of a middle-class family from Sao Paulo Written by Flavio Marcio (1945-1979) this play has been staged in 13 countries and has received several awards. It talks about the fears and anxiety of the modern man Directed by Michel Bercovitch, with Bianca Byington, Rui Rezende, Malu Valle Gilberto Hernandez and Guilherme Sar mento. Cachorro! (Dog!)—Dramedy. The peace of three men living under a bridge is disturbed when a woman shows up looking for her dog during a winter night. Written and directed by Epio Goncalves. With Emerson Ribeiro, Enio Goncalves, Jose Ferro, and Mara Faustino.
III Nervos de Deus (Nerves of God). Based on German judge Daniel Paul Schreber' s Memoirs ofMy Nervous Illness. Sigmund Freud, who read the book, was inspired by it to include paranoia as one of the psychic manifestations psychoanalysis deals with. Written and directed by Eugenia Thereza de Andrade, with Cassio Brasil, Carlos Alberto Escher, Jorge Luiz Alves, and Maira de Andrade. Assassinaram a Pelicula (They Murdered the Motion Picture). Comedy.. Passed their prime, a group of actors appeal to fiction in the hope they'll be stars again one day. Written by Rodrigo Shimidtz, directed by Andre Range!, with Alex Bakalla, Christian Bruno, Leandro Tassi and Filipe Marinho. Sobre Um (About One). Show including music, dance and poetry, deals with the body and its symbolic representations. Written by Re Lobato, directed by Ney Matogrosso with the group 0 Nome. Mamde Ndo Pode Saber (Mom Cannot Know)—Comedy. Family deep in debt gets ready to receive the visit of the matriarch, who lives in Europe and is quite wealthy. Written and directed by Joao Falcao. With Vladimir Brichta, Lazar° Ramos, Edmilsom Barros, Drica Moraes, and Alessandra Maestrini. Caixa 2 (Under the Table)—Comedy. A man gets an extra credit of $10 million in his bank account. His life becomes miserable when he decides to return that money. Written by Juca de Oliveira and directed by Fauzi Arap, with Mauro Mendonca, Oswaldo Loureiro. and Claudia Mauro.
Como Se Fazia um Deputado (How We Used to Make a Representative). Comedy of costumes. In 19th Century Rio, two politicians decide to fabricate a candidate to win the elections, using Henrique, a young lawyer, for that. Written by Franca Junior and directed by Felippe Correa, with Adilson Pereira, Gildo Fontolan, Robson BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
JETEIREAlaII II-MO AMERICAN MOVE: Ice Age (A Era do Gelo), The Powerpuf Girls (As Meninas Superpoderosas Filme), Lipschtick (Beijando Jessica Stein), Blade 2 (Blade 2 - 0 Cacador de Vampiros), Mulholland Drive (Cidade dos Sonhos), Bad Company (Em Ma Companhia), Enigma (Enigma), We Were Soldier (Fomos Herais), Star Wars: Episode 2 Attack Of The Clones (Guerra nas Estrelas. Episodio 2 - 0 Ataque dos Clones) Spiderman (Homem-Aranha), Mib (Homens de Preto 2), Unfaithfu (lnfidelidade), Domestic Disturbanc (Inimigo em Casa), Insomnia (Insonia) Cutaway (Instinto Radical), Jimmy Neu tron: Boy Genius (Jimmy Neutron, Menino Genio), K-19: The Widowmake (K-19: The Widowmaker), Lilo & Stitc (Lilo & Stitch), Eight Legged Frea (Malditas Aranhas!), Minority Report (Mi nority Report - A Nova Lei), Snow Dog (Neve Pra Cachorro), The Unsaid (N Limite do Silencio), Enough (Nunca Mais) Heist (0 Assalto), The Curse of The Jad Scorpion (0 Escorpielo de Jade), Jay an Silent Bob Strike Back (0 Imperio d Besteirol Contra-Ataca), Dragonfly ( Misterio da Libilula), Resident Evil (Resi dent Evil - 0 Hospede Maldito), One Hou Photo (Retratos de uma Obsessc7o) Showtime (Showtime), Spirit: Stallion o the Cimarron (Spirit- 0 Corcel Indomavel) The Sweetest Thing (7'udo para Ficar co Ele), About a Boy (Urn Grande Garoto) XXX (Triplo X) Cidade de Deus (City of God)—Brazil 2002—Based on Paulo Lins's novel o same name. An inside picture of Rio' favela Cidade de Deus. How Dadinho Buscape grow up in world of drugs an crime. Directed by Fernando Meirelles an Katia Lund, with unknown actors, includ
ing Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Seu Jorge, Matheus Nachtergaele, and Phellipe Haagensen. As Tres Marias (The Three Marys)—Brazil/2002— Woman goes into a revenge spree and hires some hit men after her exhusband kills her new husband and her children. Directed by Aluizio Abranches, with Marieta Severo, Julia Lemmertz, Maria Luisa Mendonca, Luiza Mariani. Uma Onda no Ar (A Wave in the Air)— Brazil/2002—It seems it's war in the big favela (shantytown). The police start to go up the hill while a pirate radio station tells the population how to react. It's the radio that the police are looking for. Directed by Helvecio Ratton, with Alexandre Moreno, Adolfo Moura, Babu Santana, Benjamim Abras, Priscila Dias, Edyr Duqui.
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BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
FEIRA ILIVIE o' I ere; Estamos ad mitindo motoristas corn carteira de motorista da California pelo menos por dois (2) anos. 0 salario sera aproximadamente $600 a $800 por semana. Nosso enderego e 14550 S. Main Street, em Gardena. Para mais informagoes chame, por favor, o telefone do escrit6rio (310) 771-1450 e fale com Alex ou Mark. 0 numero do celular do Mark é (818) 571-3580  Wanted: Female exotic dancers 18-29 needed for 4 months in Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia USA gentlemen's clubs. No experience necessary. We provide roundtrip ticket from Sao PauloAtlanta, housing, and local transportation. Earn $4,000 or more U.S. dollars a month. If interested, provide proof of age, 2 color swimsuit photos. Email: BMore20128@aol.com - Mail: Rising Star Enterprises, Suite 16 6751 Macon Road, Columbus, GA 31907 USA - Phone (706) 569-5494
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WorldTech announces two new pocket guides: (1) Rio de Janeiro, (2) Salvador Bahia. For information firstname.lastname@example.org 
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Oportunidadel Precisam-se Lideresl Empresa intemacional de marketing em expanse() no Brasil, procura candidatos experientes em marketing, corn espirito de lideranga e network. lmportante saber usar computador e ter vontade de fazer sua independoncia financeira! Résumé Fax (775) 2645803  Wanted: Marketing Reps for Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., a 30-year-old NYSE traded company. Commission deposited daily. No experience required. Call (909) 392-5766 
Wanted: Men & Women 18-40 interested in meeting Americans for relationships. New website coming August 25th "American-Brazil Dating Service" looking to put you on its website Send two color photos, your age, sexual preference (i.e. straight, bisexual, or gay), hobbies address, phone number, or email. Service fee o $1.00 U.S. dollars only required($2.00 Real). Our site will get quick results with our national advertising in U.S. Today newspaper. Email BMore20128@aolcom - Mail: Rising Star Enterprises, Suite 16 6751 Macon Road, Columbus GA 31907 USA - Phone (706) 569-5494
asses Conversational Brazilian Portuguese Method - "I tried several methods to learn BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, but when I started lessons with NILSON, I knew immediately that I'd found the best one. And in just a few months, I was able to communicate on a one-on-one basis." Individual, Total Immersion, Corporate Group and SemiPrivate. Phone (310) 379-0738 www.brazilianportuoueselessons.com  PORTUGUESE CLASSES - Brazilian teacher. Fast, easy, efficient and pleasant way to learn Portuguese. (949) 240-8178 
n or ammo Experienced "Brasileiro" Guitarist; Brazilian native Joao Junqueira (MFA in Jazz Guitar at CALARTS) is available to play, sing and record, solo or accompanied, his specialty, Authentic Brazilian Music, Originals and Jazz. Please call (818) 716-9053 or write email@example.com 
mances Income tax, bookkeeping services. Certified tax preparer expenenced and reasonable. Call Cintia Bove (415) 203-6464. Falo Portugues, Espanol.  BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
Free Personal Ad - Send bio-data, photos to Patrick Williams, ADC#84677, Box 3200-B, Buckeye, AZ, 85326, USA. All wellcome.  Fire and Passion - Agenda de Casamento para Brasileiros e Estrangeiros, no ramo desde 1989 Marriage Agency for Brazilians and Foreigners ir business since 1989. www.firepassion.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org -Tel: 310-450-4586 
numg Bassi WorldMovers Brazil - Mudangas encomendas, caixas para o Brazil. Contato: 718 472-5843 - USA -- Contato: 55-11-4473-3137 Brazil -- Email: email@example.com [201
USW TICKET TO BRASIL* Bossa Nova and Brazilian Jazz group * www.tickettobrasil.com  Learn to play Brazilian percussion. Videos fo sale. Visit us on www.bridgesto.com Demo and free lesson on the website.  Brazilian Music in its totality. Samba, bossa
nova, chorinho, bare°, axe, and more. Merchant Express (954) 785-2131
' ow go Psychic Readings by Dara. Angel's cards. English, Portuguese, Spanish Tel. (310) 838-3189 
' ewspapers agannes Jornais e revistas do Brasil. Recebemos jornais diarios e todas as principais revistas, incluindo masculinas e femininas. Tel. (954) 785-2131
'ersona 'an ee s Homan Handsome US Citizen, 5'8" tall, athletic, seeks Brazilian or Latino girl, age 35+, for possible marriage. (925) 609-9023. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org  American male, 37, college educator, seeks Brazilian lady for friendship/relationship, Los Angeles, CA area, Daniel 310-257-8940 email@example.com  Elderly Black American seeks Brazilian lady 40 plus. Write Don Clifford, PO Box 512491, Los Angeles, CA 90051-0491 
iersona an ee s an Irish-American guy, 46, tall, attractive, fun, seeks Brazilian men for friendship, maybe more! Phone Larry at 310-899-6075  Attractive Brasilophile Gay Male, 40, wants to meet Gay Brazilians in Pacific Northwest (I live in Portland) for friendship and to learn/practice Portugues. I studied for a few months at Berlitz and have been to Brasil 3 times in the last year, but need to really learn/practice and become fluent. If interested, please call (503) 544-5655. Thanks! 
Rent very nice house in beautiful state of Bahia. Please see pictures and contact on site: www.casananci.netfirms.com 
• FEIRA LIVRE RATES: 50¢ a word Phone is one word • DISCOUNTS For 3 times deduct 5%, for 6 times deduct 10%, for 12 times deduct 15% • POLICY: All ads to be prepaid Ads are accepted at our discretion. Your canceled check is your receipt Please, include address and phone number, which will be kept confidential • DEADLINE: The 25th of the month Late material will be held for the following month if appropriate. •TO PLACE AD Send ad with check, money order or your Credit Card number (plus your name and expiration date) to BRA ZZIL P.O. Box 50536 Los Angeles, CA 90050-0536.
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ArtMedia (310) 826-1443
• ISO 111111118 Noronha Advogados (310) 788-0294 Edgardo Quintanilla, Esq. (818) 986-1295
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Dallas h Houston, TX •INlitissastalits Brazilian Cultural Center (713) 961-3063 Fila Brasileiro Association (817) 447-3868 • NM i-PrifiNe Taste of Brazil Toll Free (866) 835-5556
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Los Angeles • Molts %/wig (800) GO VARIG
• iris Ouse Julinya Vidigal De Vince (310) 479-2070
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• Mil IbpNr Cosmo Auto Parts (323) 259-9818 Pit Stop (310) 643-6666
• inii Banco do Brasil (213) 688-2996
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• Clikiltlisuitbilt Brazil-Cal. Chbr of Corn. (323) 658-7402 Brazilian Sociocult. C. (310) 370-0929 Centro Cultural Gaticho (323) 256-6548 MILA • Samba School (310) 478-7866 Moe. Social Humanista (310) 281-6652 SambaLa -Esc. de Samba (562) 438-3669
• Ittistgita Brazilian Consulate (323) 651-2664
0- Mitt Gilberto Henriques (310) 371-0620 Georgia Maria Ferreira (818) 908-9199
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Supermercado Brasil (310) 837-4291
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041Psyck1ieragists Katja Rego Johnson (954) 255-5715 Dra Henrietta Faillace (305) 935-2452 Dr. Roberto Shaffer (305) 535-1694 Dr. Neri Franzon (954) 776-1412
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• HaStairlitta II CAS Bossa Nova (310) 657-5070 By Brazil (310) 787-7520 Café Brasil (310) 837-8957 Grill from lpanema (562) 435-6238 Rana Bahia (310) 657-6306 Roda Viva Churrascaria (626) 839-9950 Sabor Brazil (310) 376-7445 Zabumba (310) 841-6525 • /WM Touchdown Freight (800) 824-4399 Key International Shipping (800) 248-3880
• infilialifS Brazil Air (800) 441-8515 BrazilAdventures Expeditions (877) 2-BRAZIL Brazil Tours (818) 767-1200 Cheviot Hills Travel (310) 202-6264 Festival Travel 8. Tours (800) 776-0088 Internat. Tours (213) 613-0943 South Winds Tr & Tours (800) 533-3423 Brazil TV & Production (562) 439-4830
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Simone Bethencourt (954) 704-1211
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New York /N. Jersey • leeks Luso-Brazilian Books (800) 727-LUSO
• ties I issuistlints Brazilian Ch. of Com. (212) 751-4691 Brazilian Com. Bureau (212) 916-3200 Brazilian Trade Bur. (212) 224-6280 • CHUM Brazilian Gen. Cons. (212) 757-3080 BBJ (Br. Bus. Junction) (212) 768-1545
• flu ff Preucts
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Ban co do Brasil (305) 358-3586 Banco Nacional (305) 372-0100 Banco Real (305) 358-2433
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• Travel ifIltalt Barb Tour Service (201) 313-0996 Odyssea Travel Service (212) 826-3019
San Diego *Mir Car Mania Auto Repair (619) 223-7748
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Brazil Imports (619) 234-3401
*Daly battitscr Vigo-California (800) 994-VIGO
San Francisco ',#eiheat Varig (209) 475-1269
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bther Bay Area Brasillan Club (415) 334-0106 Capoeira Abadi (415) 284-6196 Capoeira Institute (510) 655-8207
• Guiptter Micronet (415) 665-1994
• AWN Brazilian Consulate (415) 981-8170
• Mu Mtn/ft Aquarela (510)548.1310 Birds of Paradise (415) 863-3651 Ginga Brasil (510) 428-0698 Samba do Corayao (415) 826-2588
• Iklettert Roberto Sales, DDS (510) 451-8315
Nativa Productions (408) 287-9798 Kidoideira Productions (415) 566-0427 • , ' Brazil Express (415) 749-0524 Mercado Brasil (415) 285-3520
• Itstritille Portuguese Lang. Sem. (415) 587-4990
Brazil Exchange (415) 346-2284 Brazil Express-Vigo (415) 749-0524 Paulo Travel (415) 863-2556 Celia Malheiros (650) 738-2434 Fogo na Roupa (510) 464-5999 Voz do Brazil (415) 586-2276
• Fir RIM Emiliano Benevides (415) 648-2441
• POMO Dr. Guilherme Salgado (415) 832-6219
• Printisg M C Printing (510) 268-8967
• Pnblicallos Brasilbest (415) 731 1458 Brazil Today (510) 236-3688
• gutiar./NION Gills
Café do Brasil (415) 626-6432 Café Mardi Gras (415) 864-6788 Canto do Brasil (415) 626-8727 Clube Fusetti (415) 459-6079 Joio's Restaurant (408) 244-1299 Mozzarela Di Bufala (415) 346-9888 Nino's (510) 845-9303 Terra Brazilis (415) 863-5177
Port. Lang. Services (415) 587-4990 Raimundo Franco (916) 443-3162 Roberto Lima (415) 215-4990
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Paulo's Travel (415) 863-2556 Rio Roma (415) 921-3353 Santini Tours (800) 769-9669 Tropical Travel (510) 655-9904 Tucanos Travel (415) 454-9961
ashington DC •&Oa Transbrasil (202) 775-9180 Varig (202) 822-8277
• MO Banco do Brasil (202) 857-0320 Banco do Est. de S. Paulo (202) 682-1151
tlitin Braz. Am. Cult. Inst. (202) 362-8334 Inst. of Brazil. Business (202) 994-5205
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Eyes For Talent (650) 595-2274 F. B. C. Events (415) 334-0106
Embaixada do Brasil (202) 238-2700
Amaz6nia Grill (202) 537-0421 BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
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An interview with Roberto Drummond I had a trip to Brazil set for the end of September, 2001. I commented with Roberto that I would like to interview him and write an article about his work to make it better known in the United States. He was very happy about this, and agreed to set a time. The event of 9/11 didn't scare me, and I went to Brazil, not having visited my country for seven years. I put in my purse my little tape recorder and some new tapes. When I arrived in Belo Horizonte, Roberto's novel 0 4 Cheiro de Deus had just been released—what a pity I couldn't be there. He was traveling (as he told me by phone), and I called the day he told me he would be back. We set our meeting for October 3, Wednesday, at UNI-BH (a private college in Belo Horizonte) where he was doing a presentation about 0 Cheiro de Deus, to be followed by a dialogue with students, scholars, and readers in general. His book was included in alist of books to be read for the entrance exam of the Centro Universitario de Belo Horizonte (UNI-BH) for 2002. With my friend Maria Geralda, I went to UNI where the college had organized this stimulating cultural event. And there, finally, I met my"accidental" friend Roberto Drummond. We talked rapidly as he signed autographs for the readers who surrounded him with questions and compliments. So there he was, with all that unpretentiousness, patience, and kindness for everybody—exactly the person with whom I talked many times by phone. After the successful presentation Roberto stayed there to talk with the students and other fans. We set the time forthe interview for the coming Friday. On October 5, 2001, we met at Ana Cecilia's office. Roberto was punctual, and he brought me some of his books as a present. (Ana gave me others and then my collection was complete.)1 forgot and left my tape recorder at home, but we did the interview anyway. Roberto spoke slowly to give me time to make notes so I could take down all the details. The first question was a general one, as an invitation to be free to talk about what was going on with his life at that point.
e Scent God A goodlye to author Mute Brommid SECOND PART OF A TWO-PART ARTICLE
"I write to change the world... I really wanted to punch literature in the face, and I think I did it. Nowadays I want to kiss literature's mouth, but it's a vampire's kiss ADELAIDE BOUCHARDET DAVIS
Brazza—Roberto, how is your life with the release of 0 Cheiro de Deus? Is this one becoming a miniseries also? (Roberto started telling me, with great pleasure, what was going on. His eyes were shining; the emotion came out through his pores.) Roberto Drum mond—The book 0 Cheiro de Deus was included in the list of books for the entrance exam of UNI-BH (about 11,000 candidates) and Instituto Cultural Newton de Paiva Ferreira (around 12,000 candidates). There are rumors about it's becoming a miniseries and in this case the Rede Globo has the preference to do the miniseries, but nothing is confirmed yet. In 1988—in Ontem a noite era sexta-feira—the idea for 0 Cheiro de Deus had been initiated. The title was born like this. I worked with the book for at least 11 ears. Hilda Furacuo was written in 64 days and was stolen" from 0 Cheiro de Deus. She was a support character in 0 Cheiro de Deus. When she -left" 0 Cheiro de Deus, the book had a "hole" and had to be re-worked. From the moment that I lilda Furaccio was released, I became a hostage of that hook and of the real story. Everybody wants everything in Hilda Furacdo to be true. When people ask questions
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
they insist—even though it is a novel— that everything I answer should be true. There are taxi drivers that tell me the story as if they are the author of the story and not me. A Morte de D.J. em Paris and Hilda Furacdo were also included in the list of books for the entrance exam of PUCMinas (Catholic University in Belo Horizonte). Already with the book I had become a hostage of Hilda Furacdo, and this became even stronger with the miniseries. I heard questions such as: 'Did Hilda Furacao exist? Did you make love with Hilda Furacao? Why did Hilda Furacao abandon everything? Did you become one of Hilda Furacao lovers?' Because the TV has phenomenal strength, I was suddenly in everyone's home, and everybody thought they "knew about my life" through the lives of the characters of the miniseries, who were part of the story. To write 0 Cheiro de Deus I had to be free of Hilda Furac 'do's power. Everything was mixed together, the character in the TV, in the book, and in real life. Hilda Furacao opened the doors for 0 Cheiro de Deus but I was concerned with the possibility that there could arise a comparison between Hilda Furaceio and 0 Cheiro de Deus and people would start saying that Hilda Furaceio was better than 0 Cheiro de Deus. I even dreamt that Hilda Furacao was coming to make me pay up for the existence of the character Hilda Furacao. 0 Cheiro de Deus is totally different from Hilda Furaceio.It'sa classical novel with post-modern freedom. Nothing has only one interpretation. 0 Cheiro de Deus means the death of sin in the Brazilian heart and land. There is a family in 0 Cheiro de Deus—the Drummond family. Thomas Mann once said: "If you have a- family, write about it; don't invent another one." So this is what I did. The Drummond family was always the incest daughter blessed by the Church Ind the State, a family where relatives 2,.et married to each other. 0 Cheiro de Deus is the saga of the Drummond family. 'Vó Inacia Micaela' is the central character, and it is she who wants to smell the scent of God'. In the hook the narration happens like a whirl-
pool, sucking in all the people who become part of the story. It's a fast book, full of mystery. The background is Belo Horizonte, a kind of city-sanatorium; and the book is full of political fights. The book eventually tells what 'the scent of God' is, but only at the end. Another important point is the treatment of time in the story. Time in the book is relative (happiness passes fast—suffering lasts; as is explained in relativity theory). It's a simple book, a tale, a story, but at the same time it's a complex book. Brazzil—After living for thirteen years with those characters, what is the sensation of letting them go? Of sharing them? RD—Finishing a book is difficult. One lives so much time with the characters. It doesn't matter what problems collect around you, because you live the book. I feel an enormous loss when it's finished. The success makes me feel happy, of course, but the loss is humongous. I fell in love with the characters. When I finished 0 Cheiro de Deus,I felt a huge loneliness. Instead o enjoying the good things, I felt the loss. I can't read the book now, so I just talk about it. With Hilda Furaceio I could only talk to people that talked about her, but with 0 Cheiro de Deus I just talk and think about it. I'm not very accommodating because besides talking and thinking about the book I only talk to people who are interested in the book. Brazzil—Who is Roberto Drumm ond?How did the success affect your life? RD—The big mystery of my life is myself. I tried to figure this out on the analyst's couch, but luckily I couldn't Great! I'm strong in difficult times, I have the secret of passion, and literatur is the love of my life. I live with tip. success. After winning the Premio Jabuti (a prestigious literary prize given to th, best writer of Brazil each year) with A Morte de D.J. em Paris, I had a taste o success. But everything really changer with Hilda Furaceio, which has now solo 170,000 books and became a Globs miniseries, sweeping the country like . hurricane and enchanting Brazil. It had been difficult to live with tha
success, and now this success is increasing with 0 Cheiro de Deus. To be famous in Brazil is as Tom (Jobim) used to say "like cursing someone else's mother, to betray your country". The readers shower you with flowers, but the 'envy and rancor army' pelts you with stones. The danger is to doubt the flowers and believe the stones. I never talked about this before, but this is the way I feel. And this gives you a huge amount of stress, an enormous tiredness. I'm discovering each day that the worst kind of loneliness in Brazil is success. It's made of parties, hugs, kisses, one's name in the magazines and on TV, but there is a side of it that's like war. Brazzi/—Talk about numbers, related to the sales of your books Hilda Fumed° and 0 Cheiro de Deus. RD—Up to the 17th edition Hilda Furacdo still hadn't sold 4,000 books; with the success of the miniseries, the sales jumped to 1,000 books per day. 0 Cheiro de Deus had initial sales stronger than Hilda Furaceio; in two months it had sold 12,000 books. Brazzil—Why do you write? To whom do you write? RD—I write to change the world, to be the spokesperson of those who don't have a voice, but I also write to contest traditional literature. I really wanted to punch literature in the face, and I think I did it. Nowadays I want to kiss literature's mouth, but it's a vampire's kiss. I write also to make people happy and to keep them amused. The word of mouth for 0 Cheiro de Deus was stronger than for Hilda Furaceio. People say that they can't stop reading it and this is really good. I don't think specifically about my audience, but when I wrote San gue de Coca-Cola I did; this gets away from what literature is about. I write as a suitor that sings beneath the window of his lover, hoping she'll come to the window. I'm the son of Russian and French literature. Brazzil—Do you have a preference or a special feeling about some of your books? Which ones? RD—I have for A Morte de D.J. em Paris, Sangue de Coca-Cola, Hilda Furacdo, and 0 Cheiro de Deus. But this doesn't mean that they are the best;
(most writers compete with each other. but I compete with myself) is that my fear made me work a lot. 0 Cheiro de Deus is strong and a book that thrills the reader. I need to stop and put my head in order. I'm the author of 10 books—the father of 10 children—and all of them have their own place. It's not the media that sells the other books but the dedication of the reader. I can't stop. Big contracts are a knife with a double blade. Since 0 Cheiro de Deus was released I'm in the middle of a cyclone. I work a lot, I travel a lot but I need to relax, go to the movies. But I make a "tour de force-. All writers make this effort. Now I'm in a war to overpower Hilda Furaccio. I need to stop to breathe and review everything I did. Stop. As John Lennon used to say need a roof to shelter myself'. I'm having problems with the love relation even though maybe they are. Now that 0 of a big group and the hate of a small Cheiro de Deus arrived, I'm like a father group. This last one is always exacting a relating to his youngest son—all the higher standard even though I'm giving attention is on him. my best; I write one thing and it's interBrazzil—How did the commercial preted in another way. But this is nothing success influence your work? compared to this marvelous thing that is RD—Writing for me is like breath- happening. Today a blind guy went to ing—I can't live without it. Hilda the presentation (UNI-BH, 2" presentaFuracito was chosen in 1991 by a panel tion—October 5, 2001) and I learned of literature experts as one of the 100 that 0 Cheiro de Deus will be published best books of the twentieth century writ- in Braille. ten in Portuguese. In Switzerland, in Brazzil—How did you feel when France, in Portugal, and in Italy, the you saw the final results of the Hilda success was huge. In Brazil the big Furacao miniseries? strength was the devotion of the teachers RD—I participated significantly in and the word of mouth spread by the the adaptation phase, the filming. There women. And after this, the miniseries was a great expectation about the exor(that I loved!) opened the doors of suc- cism in the red light district scene, a cess for me. Then it was difficult writing decisive point in the book and in the 0 Cheiro de Deus. Hilda Furaccio, which miniseries. I saw the episode without I wrote in such a short time, took its place music, without special effects. The muand achieved so much. Then came Ines sic was the last thing to be inserted. The é Morta, which I had stopped and then soundtrack was special. The miniseries recommenced. changed the life of Roberto Drummond, Hilda Furacao "swallowed" all my and the lives ofAna Paulo Ar6sio, Tiago books, before and after. The success of Lacerda, Rodrigo Santoro, and Danton Hilda Furaccio helped 0 Cheiro de Deus Mello. and helped me. I moved from one pubThe music was exceptional. The marlisher to another—I left Siciliano and vel ofseeing all ofthat and Hilda Furacao, went to Objetiva. I made an exhaustive obliterated all the resentment. The literary effort to build 0 Cheiro de Deus. miniseries changed everything. The pain It cost me much sweat and tears. My luck lasts much, the happiness is short-lived.
I need to be quiet and remember the good things. The review was sensational. The book makes us laugh and at the same time kills traditional literature. I need my roof to shelter myself from what has passed over it. Roberto ended the interview saying: "About Hilda Furaclio the review says that the book is better than the miniseries. But I don't think so. I think both are good and complete each other. I don't separate the things. People who loved Hilda Furaceio are now reading 0 Cheiro de Deus and they say that 0 Cheiro de Deus is better than Hilda Furaceio—this hurts. I think both are good independently." After the interview, my friend Ana Cecilia and I went to take Roberto home. We stopped first at Ana's house. I wanted to give Roberto some presents I brought from Denver for him—a Judy Garland CD, where she sings "Somewhere over the rainbow", and a soccer hat (Colorado Rapids). He was really happy with those items. I didn't meet Roberto any more because of his obligations and my plans to visit friends. When I was at the airport, coming back to the U.S., Roberto called me through Ana Cecilia's cellular phone. He told me he was sad because we didn't meet again before my return. I told him that my books didn't have his autograph; he told me that when he comes with Bela B. to visit me, he would sign all of them. He promised he would come as soon as he had a chance (even though he hated flying!) The good-bye was melancholic, without hugs, but the friendship was sealed and the promises would be carried out one day, I was sure about that. We made many other contacts by phone. Roberto was interested in publishing his books in the U.S. He asked me for names and addresses of some translators from American universities; he told me he had a promise from someone in Brazil that would sponsor the translation. One of the translators was Gregory Rabassa. I don't know ifhe ever contacted any translator and what kind of arrangements was made. I hope one day his books will be published in English. The American reader deserves to read the beautiful work of Roberto Drummond.
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
The world of Hilda Flaw& In the early 90's, Roberto Drummond met a fortuneteller that presaged how he would be successful: when he would publish a book whose title would be a woman's name, and when a Mineiro were elected Brazil's president. Roberto thought that there was a fat chance for this to happen because Fernando Collor de Mello, the President at the time, was from Alagoas (northeast of Brazil), and because the book he was writing was 0 Cheiro de Deus. But, suddenly, hamar Franco (from Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais) became the President (with Collor de Mello's impeachment), and Roberto stopped writing 0 Cheiro de Deus and started to write a memory book that he called Hilda Furaceio. Madame Janete, the fortuneteller, was right and national success knocked at Roberto Drummond's door. The book, released by Editora Siciliano, was written in 64 days and became a national hit. The book mixes real facts and people with others created by the extremely fertile imagination of the author. He is part of the story and also the narrator. The narrative involves the reader so that he or she feels transported to the Belo Horizonte ofthe early 60's, "the Mineira capital with the smell of flowers and the tear gas from the bombs thrown by the police" during the students' protest parades. The reader can't stop reading because it is too enjoyable to interrupt the pleasure ofdiving into that magical world that Roberto has created. For example, the main character, Hilda Gualtieri Von Echveger was the "girl with the golden bathing suit" who used to bewitch the men around the swimming pool of the traditional Minas Tenis Clube, in Belo Horizonte. Beautiful, adored, selected as Miss Summer '59, Hilda abandoned her fiancĂŠ, the guests who were waiting for the bride at the church, the family, a guaranteed future, and moved, still dressed with the bride's gown, to Guaicurus Street, the center of the red light district. She went to live in Room 304 of the Maravilhoso Hotel with prostitutes, drifters, transvestites and pimps. From there Hilda Furacdo was born, the sexual myth that became the men's dream and the women's nightmare. Using the perfume Muguet du Bonheur and
BRAZZIL - SEPTEMBER 2002
elegant clothes that she used to dress for the balls in Minas Tenis Clube, she conquered many clients and admirers who daily formed a queue at her door. Hilda's life crossed with the life of three young men who came to Belo Horizonte seeking their childhood dreams and leaving behind the city of Santana dos Ferros. The three inseparable friends who were born on the same day, month, and year became enchanted with the city and the novelty of a life far from the family they left behind. They're sure that the change will help them realize their longstanding dreams. Roberto (Drummond) wants to lead the communist revolution, have his own "Sierra Maestra"; Malthus, known since he was a child as "the Saint," wants to become a Dominican friar; Aramel, the Beautiful, intends to be an actor in Hollywood and become a "Don Juan" for rent. The story tells the reader about five years in the life of the characters and the country between 1959 and 1964. Santana dos Ferros represents innocence, tradition, and the struggle not to allow the changing times to invade the city and modify the mind of its citizens. Belo Horizonte represents the modernity of the times, the city of sins where young people are becoming corrupted and where the mothers are becoming part of the -Tradicional Familia Mineira" (TFM) to fight against the downfall, as the fathers secretly visit the world of Hilda Furacao. When the miniseries (with the same name) made by TV Globo was released on May 27, 1998, Roberto Drummond said in an interview: "The book changed my life as a writer. The miniseries will complete the change because it changes my life as a world writer." Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Roberto was completely involved with the Rede Globo production and confessed all his jealousy in relation to everything and everybody that surrounded the main character and her story. The Mineiro who declared himself hypochondriac, passionate, and emotional said that everything related to Hilda Furacao made him cry because it all reminded him of the acme of his youth, when he was in love with Bela B. with whom he got married. Watching his life being "presented" on the TV, he used to feel a lump in his throat, and the scenes made in Praca da Liberdade put him in tears.
When the miniseries was released, TV Globo also released a special booklet about it. This booklet, which according to Roberto (in his letter to me when he sent me acopy of the booklet) became a rarity, presents pictures (Jorge Baumann/Nelson de Rago) and texts (Mara Bernardes) about the exceptional work done by the network, along with comments by the author and Gloria Perez, the adaptor. Asked about what made him go back to the 60's to write Hilda Furacuo, abandoning temporarily 0 Cheiro de Deus, he was already writing, Roberto said, "probably destiny". The first time I heard about Hilda Furacao was in a bar close to the high school where I used to study. As time went by, I published many books and was writing articles about soccer for Estado de Minas. Every time we had soccer games at Mineirao (the soccer stadium), after the game we formed a huge group and went to the bar to 'kill time' and then I used to tell a bunch of stories. "The friends loved those stories and this used to make me irritated because they were more successful than my books that were already released, even though I had already received two of the greatest Brazilian literary awards. I used to be really upset with this thing that was being spread about my story telling. I arrived in a party, the party started to bog down, I started to tell stories, and the party perked up. But I never felt that I had a book in my hands, a true book with the truth a little fictionalized." According to Mara Bernardes (Estado de Minas, April 18, 2001), "the book came to life when Roberto Drummond needed to write a story of 50 pages, to comply with a contract. The story written with total freedom grew, and became Hilda Furaclio. And because it had exceeded 50 pages (the book has 298 pages), the author thought it would become a fiasco." -What is truth and what is fantasy in Hilda Furaceio?" is the question that everybody asks when reading the book. To this question Roberto provides answers full of mystery, leaving still more doubts in the reader's mind. And he tells why his answers about this are always vague: "I had a tragic experience about this. Once in a debate in Foz do Iguacu, my young readers, boys and girls around
14 to 17 years old, thought that everything that was in the book was true because the narrator has my name and I really met Hilda Furacao. One of them asked me if a specific character existed or not and I said "no". They started crying! Then I needed to say I was kidding. Sure he existed, he was my friend, it's in the book! Since then everything that people ask me about, I say it exists." This is the kind Roberto who didn't want to disappoint his readers. This is the writer who knew as no other how to create for the pleasure of his readers stories that sound true.
The magic of
0 Cheiro de Deus The "story teller'. didn't stop there. I f"writing is like breathing" for Roberto Drummond, his pen couldn't stop. And many, many pens were necessary to write the 23 versions, written by hand, during 11 years, of his last novel 0 Cheiro de Deus. The same publisher, Editora Objetiva, that publishes Paulo Coelho and Luis Fernando Verissimo, signed a lucrative contract with the Mineiro author to publish the book that was released in Brazil in September, 2001 (0 Cheiro de Deus, in Portuguese, can be bought in Luso-Brazilian Books, in NY - www.lusobraz.com). As the good Mineiro he was, Roberto never revealed the amount of this contract. He used to say, "Let's say that with this it's possible to live comfortably without being dependent on work; •enough for buying a BMW, after I learn how to drive; and when I feel the urge, to take an airplane and spend a late afternoon at the pergola of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, in Rio de Janeiro." Besides Objetiva, four other big Brazilian publishers also competed for the contract: S ic i I iano, Globo, Geracao, and Nova Fronteira. According to the editing director, Isa Pessoa, "It's one of the biggest contracts that Objetiva ever signed" and it includes, besides OCheiro de Deus, another unpublished work and the re-release of all of Roberto Drummond's books, which will have the stamp Biblioteca Drummond "as a graphic standard for recognizing the author's books". 0 Cheiro de Deus tells the story of
the Drummond family re-invented. In it Roberto reveals the secrets, the lies, the incest, and the passions of his characters. And everything happens in Minas Gerais—in the Contestado region (in a fictional city called Cruz dos Homens) and in Belo Horizonte from the 1950's and 60's. In the novel, the "war" between the two political parties—PSD of Inacia Micaela and UDN of Coronel Bimbim—represents the struggle between opposites. A powerful woman—vó (grannie) Inacia Micaela—commands the clan where madness and incest are part of the story. It's the saga of a family matriarch who wants to discover the scent of God before death comes and time ends. The supernatural strolls throughout the book as something ordinary and totally acceptable—ghosts, a wolfman, Lilliputian Indians, a man with the devil's face, a white woman who becomes black when she feels the cold front coming from Argentina, a Colonel with three hearts. Roberto's narrative has the effect of a trip to familiar surroundings, but also to places never dreamt of before. The frenzy of sensation is incredible, and just the privileged mind of an exceptional storyteller could write such a work. In an article for 0 Estado de Scio Paulo, Andre Nigri talks about Roberto Drummond's anguish when he was finishing his 0 Cheiro de Deus. Roberto said to the journalist: "When I looked at what was left over from that story, I perceived that I had the obligation to rewrite it, and now that it's almost at the end I feel anguished." Roberto became sad when he finished the book he started to write in 1989. The first version was ready in 24 days, but it took around 11 years to come to the final version.
The release of the book, which took place in Vicosa (a small city 240 km from Belo Horizonte), was at the door of Santa Rita's Church, Roberto's saint of devotion to whom he made that promise if he managed to finish the book. The "communist" from the 60's finally came to terms with his religious side. In the interview with Mariana Peixoto (Estado de Minas, April 18, 2002), the reporter states that "Roberto Drummond doesn't deny he would like to see an adaptation of 0 Cheiro de Deus in the movies or TV, as happened to Hilda Furacdo." He told the reporter, "I received proposals from four filmmakers to do the movie and nobody even knows the book." He also disclosed the filmmakers' names, citing Ruy Guerra, Neville D'Almeida, the Farias family, and Paulo Thiago. He continued saying: "Mario LUcio Vaz, from Rede Globo asked me during a lunch: 'Do you think it can become a miniseries?' I said: 'Yes'. Then Mario Lacio said that Rede Globo has the preference." According to Mariana Peixoto, Drummond stated: wrote the book to be read, not to be a miniseries. What comes after this will simply be a consequence." Marcelo Marthe, in his review of 0 Cheiro de Deus for weekly magazine Veja (July 25, 2001) said, "Drummond is an involving narrator, he jumps from one situation to another without loosing the clue to the puzzle." This is the legacy ofthe unforgettable Roberto Drummond. Thanks to: Estado de Minas, 0 Globo, Folha de S. Paulo, 0 Estado de S. Paulo, Superesportes, Veja magazine, Quem magazine, Central
Globo de ProducOes (booklet) Thanks to: Jim Davis, who edited the English text. Adelaide Bouchardet Davis, born in Visconde do Rio Branco, Minas Gerais state, is a writer and professor of Portuguese at Denver University, state of Colorado. You can reach her via e-mail: addavis(a du.edu
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