Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Latin America Blog

Follow the money: Brazilian president travels to Cuba and Haiti

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, who arrived in Cuba Monday, plans to meet with President Raul Castro today in a trip touted as a trade booster for both countries.

By James BosworthGuest blogger / January 31, 2012

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff waves during an official visit to Cuba after arriving at Havana's Jose Marti airport on Tuesday.

Enrique de la Osa/Reuters

Enlarge

• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, www.bloggingsbyboz.com. The views expressed are the author's own.

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is traveling to Cuba and Haiti this week, her first official trip to both Caribbean countries.
 
Certainly much of the Cuba focus will be on symbolic questions. Will Rousseff raise human rights and democracy issues publicly? Will she pressure the Cuban government to give pro-democracy blogger Yoani Sanchez an exit visa to visit Brazil?

But BBC notes the more important point of her trip: "Ms. Rousseff will visit the port of Mariel, where Brazilian company Odebrecht is carrying out a multi-million dollar modernization of the harbor," with money from the Brazilian national development bank, BNDES.

Brazil's economic expansion across Latin America is improving regional infrastructure, building long term influence, and making the country money today.

As I wrote in the recent Southern Pulse book, Brazil's economic projects are placing it in increasing competition with China for regional influence.
 
The same will be true in Haiti. Rousseff will visit the Brazilian-led peacekeepers and certainly make some aid announcements to help Haiti rebuild, but there is a significant economic role for Brazil in that country as well.
 
Watch the diplomatic symbolism, because it certainly matters. But follow the money, because that is how Brazil is really making its play for regional influence.

--- James Bosworth is a freelance writer and consultant who runs Bloggings by Boz.

RELATED: Think you know Latin America? Take our geography quiz.

Get daily or weekly updates from CSMonitor.com delivered to your inbox. Sign up today.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of Latin America bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!