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International unions reject Weintraub on the World Bank board

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São Paulo – Workers’ unions in several countries on Thursday rejected the appointment of former minister Abraham Weintraub for a position on the World Bank’s executive board. Weintraub’s name was confirmed by a statement from the institution, released last night.

“Mr. Weintraub is expected to take office in the first week of August and will serve the current term that ends on October 31, 2020, when the position will again be opened for election,” said the World Bank.

The Secretary-General of the International Construction and Wood Workers (ICM), Ambet Yuson, addressed the governments of Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Philippines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago. He expressed the concern and opposition of the affiliates in these countries to the indication of the Brazilian government to lead the group in the institution.

Democratic opponent

“A manifest opponent of democracy, cooperation, dialogue, freedom of expression and multiculturalism. The ex-minister went running and on the sly. Afraid of being arrested on charges of racism and incitement to hatred, he was in the well-paid position that, due to an ideological principle, he should reject, ”says international relations specialist Nilton Freitas, representative of the International Construction and Wood Workers ( ICM) in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Workers believe that the ex-minister of the Bolsonaro government will pose risks of disintegration and conflict. And they remember that the Brazilian representative expresses opposition to the values ​​and principles of the institution. “A code of ethics based on principles such as integrity, respect and teamwork must, however, limit these risks”, says Nilton.

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Economy

‘Hypocrite’, Bolsonaro at UN blames victims of agribusiness and mining

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São Paulo – The “hypocritical” speech with which President Jair Bolsonaro opened, this Tuesday (22), the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UN), seems to have been made to the internal public of Brazil, its voters. And not for other heads of state and external actors, as expected at the UN ”. The opinion is of Professor Miriam Gomes Saraiva, from the Department of International Relations of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Uerj). “It looks like a speech to then take a piece and put it on a blog. For external effects, the impact is very bad, because, with regard to the environment and the pandemic, any head of government needs to ask its ambassador in Brazil. ”

For the teacher, Bolsonaro’s “hypocritical” speech at the UN is “disconcerting”. “It is difficult to even talk about it, because it is shocking. The military, in the past, tried to talk about the development of the Amazon, with Transamazônica, Zona Franca, a series of items that, although predatory, are even pointed out as development. But, Bolsonaro, not even that defends. He simply lies. It does not defend anything whatsoever. ”

Pandemic

In his speech, the head of state of the largest country in South America stated: “As happened in much of the world, a portion of the Brazilian press also politicized the virus (which causes covid-19), spreading panic among the population, under the motto ‘stay home and see the economy later’ ”. According to him, “they almost brought social chaos to the country”.

Indifferent to the environmental tragedy that befalls the Amazon and the Pantanal, Bolsonaro said that forest fires occur “where the caboclo and the indigenous people burn their gardens in search of their survival”, and that in Mato Grosso the cause is the “high temperature”.

He also said that the emergency aid paid in Brazil to the neediest in the context of the pandemic is one thousand dollars. The benefit amount, R $ 600, in today’s values, does not reach 110 dollars, and the last four installments, of R $ 300, will be R $ 55.

“The speech reveals a cold and persistent liar. It is an extremely unfair, aggressive speech that blames the victims of invasions (indigenous lands) and covers up the guilt of those responsible for the attacks on native peoples, their rights, their ways of existence, the environment and forests in Brazil, says Cleber Buzatto, deputy secretary of the Indian Missionary Council (Cimi). “We absolutely repudiate this disastrous attempt by President Bolsonaro to hold the original peoples responsible for what they are being victims of, the interests of agribusiness and mining, which he tries to protect,” he adds.

Economic causes

The only alternative for countries that care about the environment
environment, human and indigenous rights is to stop buying
products of mineral and agricultural origin from Brazil, believes Buzatto. “While
there is demand there will be violence and aggression on the part of these sectors and protection
them by the Bolsonaro government. ”

In the opinion of Gilberto Maringoni, professor of International Relations at the Federal University of ABC (UFABC), in his second appearance at the UN General Assembly, Bolsonaro expressed himself in a more moderate tone than in 2019. Last year, he still represented a novelty on the international scene, a scenario in which President Donald “Trump was surfing in popularity”.

In 2019, Bolsonaro stated that he took over a country “on the verge of socialism” and made reference to the Mais Médicos program. He cited the program implemented in Dilma Rousseff’s first term as “an agreement between the PT government and the Cuban dictatorship”. For Maringoni, in view of Trump’s likely defeat to Joe Biden in the American elections, Bolsonaro adopted a more moderate speech.

Bolsonaro’s “hypocritical” side at the UN was also exposed when mentioning the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) and with the European Free Trade Association. “These agreements have important clauses that reinforce our commitments to environmental protection,” he said. In reality, the deal is in check in Europe precisely because of the environmental “policy” of his government in Brazil.

European pressure

Social pressures against the agreement are increasing in Europe. On Friday (18), the French government strongly spoke against the trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur. The agreement has not yet been ratified, due to serious environmental problems in the countries of the South American bloc, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Last year, with Decree No. 10,084, the president released sugarcane planting in the Amazon, the Pantanal and the Upper Paraguay Basin. Read the decree here.

But Bolsonaro continues to try to capitalize on the deal that has not yet been finalized, which is of more interest to European capitalism than, for example, to the industry of South American countries. “Most likely, he will continue to repeat this, that he managed to sign the agreement. It is possible that it will be ratified at some point, including after the end of the Bolsonaro government, ”says Miriam Gomes Saraiva.

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