Thursday, March 17, 2011
OBAMA, PERSONA NON GRATA IN BRAZIL
The South Journal
Written by lchirino
March 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm
South Journal—Social and left-wing movements in Brazil met in Rio de Janeiro today to organize a “big demonstration” against the scheduled visit by US president Barack Obama to that South American country next weekend.
The protest has been planned for next Sunday, when Obama is expected to address the Brazilian people at the Cinelandia plaza, in downtown Rio. The call to the demonstration, which has been posted on the Internet, declares Obama a “persona non-grata” in Brazil, as it argues that among other reasons, the current US administration maintains a war-oriented policy aimed at occupying countries and attacking nations in the name of the fight against terrorism.
“We say that Obama is a persona non-grata in Brazil because, as Latin Americans, we know that the US policy towards Latin America has not changed. We can’t accept that they still maintain a blockade on Cuba and launch provocations against Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador,” reads the message, which also accuses Obama of having backed the coup that overthrew former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.
The organizations say that the United States has never put down its interest of dominating Latin American countries as it keeps considering the region as its area of influence. They also point out that under the Obama administration, Washington has affirmed its support of the genocide-oriented policy of Israel against the Palestinian people and maintained its military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The call to next Sunday’s demonstration sparked concerns in Brazilian government circles, particularly because among those who signed it is a member of the ruling Worker’s Party (PT), the current secretary of Political Organization and Popular Movements in Rio de Janeiro, Indalecio Wanderley.
The call was also signed by the “Central Unica de Trabajadores” (Worker’s Unique Confederation) CUT, considered the union wing of the PT, though some leaders with that organization say they have not backed the protest. “The CUT is neither against nor in favor of the visit by Obama. We do not consider him a persona non-grata. The CUT does reject US military interventions that hurt democracy,” said the Communication Secretary with the union organization Rosane Bertotti in statements to O Globo daily.