Friday, July 08, 2005


Lula changes Cabinet

In an attempt to gain more political support in Congress, President Lula is changing Ministries.
To attract PMDB, the largest Brazilian Party, Lula is giving them two new Ministries (and replacing another Ministry who had already been appointed by PMDB). New Ministers are Saraiva Felipe (Health) and Silas Rondeau (Mines and Energy); the new Minister of Communications is Helio Costa, also PMDB.
Lula also appointed Luiz Marinho as the new Minister of Labor. Marinho is President of CUT, the largest Union Central in Brazil.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Lula to participate in the G8 meeting

President Lula will fly to Scotland, where he will participate as an invited guest of the meeting of G8 (seven richest countries of the world plus Russia).
This shows that the international prestige of President Lula was not affected by the recent internal troubles.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Weekly Magazines

Once again, the three major magazines bring news about the scandal in Lula´s government.

This week, Isto É was the mildest of the three: with a cover reading "Time to Clean Up", the main article says that it´s time to promote deep changes in the way that Politics is conducted in Brazil.

Brazil scandalÉpoca 372 brought an important revelation: a man who donated money to Lula´s campaign in 2002 saw his companies make huge profits contracting with State companies.
According to Epoca, Antonio Augusto Morato Leite Filho, owner of Promodal, a company working in the fields of logistic and transportation, donated R$ 800,000 to Lula´s campaign in October of 2002 (when all polls indicated Lula´s victory). After Lula took office, Promodal signed contracts with ECT, the Postal Company, in a total of R$ 104 million.
Read a part of the report here.

PT scandal>Veja came with a yet more amazing denounce.
Veja found out that Marcos Valério (photo in the cover), the man accused of carrying around bags full of money to distribute to Deputies who agreed in sell support to PT, was the co-debtor of a loan in name of PT.
Documents show that, in February 2003, the Worker´s Party signed a loan operation with Bank of Minas Gerais, in the amount of R$ 2,400,000.00 (about US$ 1 million, at current rates). The main debtor was the Party itself, but three people signed as co-debtors: President of PT, José Genoíno; treasurer of PT, Delúbio Soares; and Marcos Valério, owner of a few Marketing and Propaganda Companies, with no official relation with PT.
Even worse: in July 2004, when the debt was due, PT didn´t pay; Marcos Valério then paid the interest due, in the amount of nearly R$ 350,000.00 (the principal is still owed).
The natural conclusion, according to Veja, is that Valério and PT have a kind of joint fund; Valério doesn´t care to pay PT´s debt, because PT would make sure that Valério would gain contracts with state companies which more than would pay Valério´s debts.
In fact, the companies which belong to Valério, which were unknown before Lula´s government, received more than US$140 million from Ministries and State companies (like Banco do Brasil, Ministry of Sports, the Chamber of Deputies and others) over the past two years.
José Genoíno, who had previously denied any relationship between PT and Valério, now recognizes that contract, and says that there was a "misunderstanding" in his previous statements.

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