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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Country of the Future


By Raúl Rodríguez

When I was in college I heard my Contemporary Brazilian Politics professor say: “Brazil is the country of the future and always will be” The inference was that the future was out there but would never arrive.

I do believe that the future is here now rather than later for Brazil. If I am not mistaken, Brazil will become one of the major players in the world and a world power to be reckoned with within the next 50 years. All the signs are there. Brazil not only has the natural resources but it also has size. It has as well the most energetic and resilient of people.

I will never forget when I took my family to Brazil my youngest daughter was 8 and the oldest 10. We went to Iguaçu Falls and out of curiosity we also went to the Itaipú hydroelectric dam. We were admiring it from a distance and I said to my daughters: “girls, look at it and remember this view; this is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world”

With a puzzled look, my youngest looked up at me and said: “but daddy, it is not in the United States.”

I have a great affinity for the culture and the people of Brazil. I think I understand them. I think I can identify with them. And I also think that they have many reasons to rejoice and to be very optimistic of their privileged position as of today.

I remember back in the seventies during the first of the fake oil crisis that Brazil took steps to become energy independent. Brazil borrowed heavily to build that hydroelectric dam. Only the Chinese are now building one that is to be larger, 25 years later.

But the Brazilians didn’t just stop there. They had enough vision to convert their automobiles to be able to run on ethanol, a fuel that comes from their sugar cane and the bi-product is used as the fuel itself to produce it, therefore it becomes totally self sufficient.

I ask myself the question: If a third world country like Brazil in the 70’s lacking the funds and the know-how was able to accomplish this, why is it then that a country like the United States insists that the technology is not there, that we are looking at 20 or 30 years into the future before the U.S. becomes energy independent.

But we can’t stop there; Brazil has now found oil reserves estimated to be much larger than those of Saudi Arabia. I hope that they have the wisdom to continue being energy independent and they cling on to those reserves and put them to use responsibly.

We find Brazil in the forefront of many other endeavors. Their “Brazilian Model” for the production of generic drugs is a resounding success. They are now spending only 1/4^th of what other nations spend on medicines therefore avoiding having to borrow money from the Chinese like the United States has and the people of Brazil now have affordable medicines.

While we in the United States are tormented by the threat of what we perceive to be SOCIALISM whenever the government has to take care of a problem or rectify the excesses of an unregulated free enterprise system, the Brazilians have been able to obtain a happy medium, to incorporate social programs where necessary and to apply regulations to private enterprise where needed without incurring in any Marxist, totalitarian take over as was predicted.

We also see that even those countries that were once the least inclined to use the free enterprise system are now the ones who are using it to their advantage: Russia and China. Brazil still has a long way to go but it is closer now than it has ever been.

This is a guest post by Raul Rodrigues. Check him out at:


1 comment:

  1. And that's what we have been hearing for a long time. We are the country of the future. Despite all the daily servings of corruption and scandal we get on the news, we feel Brazil is making headway. That makes us all feel a bit good about ourselves.