Some things to keep in mind here:
- Brazil has generally been loathe to criticize its neighbors. It wants to be friends with everyone in South America.
- This a statement from the Brazilian senate, not the executive branch.
- Brazilians are proud of their free press.
With all that in mind, the only surprising thing is that it took so long for any part of the political leadership in Brazil to complain about how Chavez is tearing apart civil liberties in Venezuela.
Don’t expect to see the Brazilian foreign ministry or Pres. Lula to speak out, however. They still want to be friends with everyone. Notice how relieved Brazil was when two other countries vetoed Chavez’s proposal to the Unasur/Unasul charter that could have led to regional sanctioned government control of media outlets.
Brazil Throws Another Stumbling Block on Venezuela’s Path to Mercosur
Saturday, 05 September 2009
Brazil’s Senate released a statement in which it castigates Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez for the measures implemented by his government against private media. The decision by the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee could further delay Venezuela’s incorporation into Mercosur.
The statement following a “symbolic” vote was sponsored by the Senate president José Sarney in coordination with the committee and underlined its rejection to President Chavez attacks against “freedom of the press” and “freedom of speech.”
The committee only a few days ago repudiated what is described as an “authoritarian escalade” and the permanent harassment of the free press in Venezuela.