Saturday, October 25, 2003

NEW RIO DE JANEIRO IMPRESSIONS (3)
Bonus commentary on nepotism and other political evils

In the plane reading the Jornal Do Brasil I caught a very interesting tidbit on Brazilian politics. Benedita da Silva was paying back the sum of about 1700 USD for a trip she took to Argentina. What is interesting here is that the woman, no relation to Lula I believe, is the minister of social welfare of president Lula. Apparently she took a trip to an Evangelical meeting there, which was deemed a personal trip since she is Evangelical herself and she could not justify any state business. So she got a reprimand and had to pay back the plane fare.

Now, for the life of me, I cannot remember when was the last time a Venezuelan cabinet member had to pay back undue expenses...

Once in Caracas I read yesterday yet another Brazilian cabinet member running into trouble for appointing his wife to some consulting position. He was asked to resign. Here, at home, the number of cabinet members that have appointed all sorts of relatives to key positions defies imagination. Hey! Even the great one has appointed, among other, two of his brothers and has had his dad elected governor of Barinas, his home state. `nuf said!

I think Brazil is on its way to solve its problems, or at least trying to do so.

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