[Marxism] Lula's Troops in Haiti

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 2 20:27:10 MST 2004

Octob1917 at aol.com quoting Benn Terrall 
As Brazil angles for a permanent seat on the UN Security
Council, many progressives around the world cannot help but
wonder how much complicity with brutal repression Lula will
countenance in order to look "credible" to Washington.

Reuters via Al Jazeera - December 1, 2003

Brazil to Break AIDS Drugs Patents

Brazil will break patents on some foreign Aids drugs next
year to escape the control of multinational firms holding
developing countries hostage, the government has said.

Brazil, which has a much-copied universal free Aids
programme, has for years threatened to break patents in its
drive to cut the cost of foreign drugs used in its 15-drug
anti HIV-Aids cocktail.

It will make the move in 2005 when it begins domestic
production of three to five drugs without permission from
the companies that hold the patents, Pedro Chequer, head of
the government's Aids programme said.

Chequer did not specify which patents would be broken.

Under Brazilian law, and based on World Trade Organisation
rules, a nation can break drug patents by applying a
"compulsory licence" on a product if it is a case of
national emergency or national interest.


Brazil says it can no longer afford to run its free
anti-Aids programme using imported drugs.

"We determined that we have to move to a situation of
self-sufficiency through compulsory licensing," Chequer
said. "If we don't move towards self-sufficiency, the
programme will collapse."

He added: "We see mergers of multinationals, regional
monopolies, it's all a big agreement to keep developing
nations hostage to the multinational industry."

In the mid 1990s Aids experts expected millions of Brazil's
young, sexually-active population to fall prey to the

Brazil began free access to the cocktail of drugs in 1997.
It has kept the number of people living with HIV at about
600,000. Nearly 150,000 Brazilians currently receive the
HIV-Aids drug cocktail, almost half the total of 350,000
who receive such treatment throughout the developing world.

Imports costly

The cost of providing foreign imports of drugs in the
cocktail has skyrocketed from 50% of the programme's budget
in 1998 to an estimated 85% in 2005.

Brazil currently makes seven of the drugs in its cocktail
and hopes to begin manufacture of more in the first half of

But the South American country still lacks pharmaceutical
industry technology and the capacity to supply all 15 of
the drugs, Chequer said.

"Breaking patents means vertical national production from
start to finish, so that we are not dependent on any other
country for essential materials," he added.

Newly released data indicates the spread of Aids stabilised
in 2004 in the nation of 180 million people, but was rising
among poor, black and mixed-race Brazilians. Figures also
show the disease had reached record levels among women.

December 1, 2004 
Brazil's Economy Grew
6.1% in Third Quarter

December 1, 2004; Page A8

SÃO PAULO, Brazil -- Rising domestic demand combined with a
continuing export boom to power Brazil's economy to 6.1%
growth in the third quarter, compared with a year earlier.

The government also revised previous gross-domestic-product
growth estimates to show that activity started rising last
year, earlier than originally thought. That, together with
news that investment soared 20.1% in the third quarter from
a year earlier, led economists to say the report could
point to more sustainable growth for Brazil.

"The important thing was the composition of growth, which
showed a lot of investment," said Deutsche Bank economist
Jose Carlos de Faria, explaining that the investment should
help Brazil increase productive capacity to sustain higher
growth rates.

The figures came in slightly lower than economists had
forecast. Even so, they showed Brazil's economy continued
to accelerate in the third quarter after languishing last
year and getting a slow start in 2004.

The solid third-quarter results appeared to come as welcome
news to Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who
rode into office last year on a job-creation platform only
to see rising inflation and interest rates suffocate growth
and cause unemployment to rise. Leaders of the president's
economics team lauded the data released yesterday. Central
Bank President Henrique Meirelles told a congressional
committee the numbers show Brazil is entering a virtuous
cycle of vigorous growth with controlled inflation.

Still, GDP numbers lag behind the real economy by several
months, and yesterday's data failed to completely quell
worries that a series of interest-rate increases could slow
Brazil's economic activity next year. Brazil's central bank
started raising its base Selic interest rate in September
to counter inflation pressures stemming largely from
soaring global prices for commodities such as oil and

In the third quarter, exports jumped 18.2% from a year
earlier amid strong global demand for commodities,
continuing a surge that triggered Brazil's current growth
cycle in the first place.

Write to Andrea Welsh at andrea.welsh at dowjones.com1

More information about the Marxism mailing list