All posts by Itzel Santana

The Political Challenges of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

I attended a D.C. event hosted by the Brazil Institute in the Woodrow Wilson Center discussing the topic of The Political Challenges of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. This seminar was led by a few speakers: Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Maria Herminia Tavares de Almeida, visiting scholar Mauricio Moura and a diplomat serving at the Brazilian Embassy, Fabio Cereda Cordeiro. Each speaker shared their political thoughts and views and provided a contemporary analysis of the politics in Brazil focusing on the current president whose popularity has led a great governmental change throughout the country. In addition, the panel also expressed their views on the cultural political economic and security factors that play an integral part in building Brazil to becoming an up incoming leader in the Americas. They made it clear that Brazil is characterized by consistent change.

The challenges of Rousseff’s administration are focused on improving transportation, fighting against corruption, improving healthcare and public security. The main point that each speaker addressed was public opinion. It was noted that 78% of Brazilians approve of Dilma Rousseff as a person and think she’s firm, honest, tough on corruption, and continues Lula’s policies. Along with that, 59% of Brazilians think her government is as good as Lula’s and 21% think it is better. There is about 62% of Brazilians who believe that this administration will be excellent for the country in the next two years.

It was very impressive given that Brazil’s Congress currently features representatives and senators of 21 different political parties. Rousseff’s popularity had to do with her attitude of intolerance of government corruption along with the fact that Brazil has a very low unemployment rate leading to the point of full employment. These speakers discussed how difficult it is for a political party to hold power for a number of terms. Although it appears that this party will face several challenges they seem to believe that their administration is the best and will bring only good to Brazil.