Brazil to Obama: Watch It

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Sometime in the next ten days, President Obama can expect a call from Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Lula wants to invite Obama to a meeting of the Union of the South American Nations (Unasur) meeting to discuss the increasing American presence in Colombia, now that the South American country has allowed US military forces to use Colombian air bases to track down rebels and drug dealers. A conversation about the topic should take place before the next Unsaur meeting, scheduled for August 28th in Bariloche, Argentina.

During the last meeting of Unasur leaders, last week, in Quito, Ecuador, the Brazilian president said he was “uneasy” with American troops going to Colombia and proposed the meeting with Obama. The main reason for his concern, he said, is that South America should be able to solve its own problems without outside help, especially since the Narcotraffic Combat Council was just created by Unasur to fight drug traffic in South America without international interference. “The Council can answer many things that Colombians think only Americans can answer,” Lula said.

But during a press conference, Lula expressed a concern that must cross the mind of every leader whose neighbors are about to host American troops: Are they really going to stay where they’re supposed to? Lula emphasized that it should be made “explicit” that American troops will act only within Colombian territory. Translation: Colombian president Alvaro Uribe and Obama can sign whatever they want, as long as we don’t have American soldiers crossing into the Brazilian Amazon.

Guest contributor Gabriela Lessa is a journalist and blogger spending the summer in her native Brazil. Watch for her dispatches on motherjones.com.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate