Released June 2008
Full Transcript of the Public Radio Documentary
"Brazil Rising"—produced by Simon Marks, Kristin McHugh, and Keith Porter—is a Stanley Foundation production in association with KQED Public Radio and KUT Austin.
"Brazil Rising" is part of the Stanley Foundation's "Rising Powers: The New Global Reality" project.
This following text has been professionally transcribed; however, for timely distribution, it has not been edited or proofread against the audio.
("Girl from Ipanema" music)
(Film reel clip:
"One of the amazing things about
David Brown: Forget what you thought you knew about
"Troops had to be called out in
Brown: ...doesn't exist anymore. In its place there is a new
Brown: Its ports are among the world’s busiest; its markets bustling.
Felix Schouchana: The agriculture sector in
Brown: It’s a
Horacio Forjaz: We would like to compete on a so-called level playing field.
Brown: I’m David Brown, and you’re about to hear the story of a 21st-Century superpower fast in the making.
This is the story of Brazil
Rising. From the
More after this.(break)
David Brown: From the Stanley Foundation, KQED Public Radio and KUT Austin your listening to "Brazil Rising."
I'm David Brown.
And we’re on a boat in the Atlantic approaching Port Santos,
the busiest port in the biggest nation in
By big, I mean about as big as the continental US. And by busy, there are ships coming in from all over the world, their hulls being loaded with coffee, sugar, beef, orange juice…Brazil's become the number exporter of all that and much more.
Incoming are new consumer goods catering to a growing Brazilian middle class. In fact, if you just spent a day here at this port, you'd learn a lot.
(Pilot speaking Portuguese.)
But this is just our jumping off point. Over the next hour, we'll be taking you into
the fields of central
After years of political and financial instability, people
used to joke that
This is Brazil Rising. And the implications for all of us are potentially enormous.
Correspondent Simon Marks is here with us, and Simon, you’ve
seen first-hand how
Simon Marks: David, there's no doubt about it. And to see that up close I traveled about 120
miles North East of here, to the headquarters of one of
(Airplane manufacturing sound)
Marks: You may not realize it, I certainly didn't,
but the next time you clamber aboard an airplane and fly, say from
Made here in
Lauro Yasunaga: "Starting 1997 we have almost four thousand people working, and now we have more than twenty-three thousand people. That's a big change".
Marks: Lauro Yasunaga is not exaggerating. For 16 years he's been a manufacturing engineer at Embraer. Today he oversees 12 enormous hangars, each one larger than a football field, where Embraer's jets are literally bolted and riveted together.
Embraer Worker: Today you can see... (counting aircraft) ...eight aircraft at this moment, at this stage.
Marks: They cannot work fast enough to meet demand.
Fifteen completed jets roll off the production line every month here, that's
over three a week, and the factory already has enough back-orders to work
around the clock for the next six years.
US Airways, Air
Horacio Forjaz: Embraer faced itself in a very disadvantageous position because we lacked credibility, we lacked financial support, and we didn't have a new product.
Marks: That was back in 1994 when Horacio Forjaz witnessed the state-owned company's re-birth as a private enterprise. He's worked here for 33 years, today he's Embraer's Executive Vice-President. He's also a walking, talking history of the company.
Marks: Was the company's survival in question?
Forjaz: The situation was so adverse, so difficult, that not few of us had these type of thoughts in front of them. Those years were quite difficult for Embraer.
This is the forward fusel lodge produced by Embraer...
Marks: Embraer was saved by one big idea, the realization that there was a gap in the
aviation market for regional jets seating between 50 and 130 passengers. As the
price of jet fuel rose, along with passenger demands for more comfort - Embraer
planes have no middle seat - order books
began to fill. The rise of low-cost,
budget airlines in Europe and
Forjaz: We are strategically very well positioned with products, some of them without a direct competitor, and new generation products with extremely good acceptance.
Marks: And yet at Sao Paolo's
And while Embraer is a Brazilian success story, the country's domestic aviation infrastructure has been dogged by disaster.
Marks: Last year alone, a string of deadly air crashes highlighted shortcomings that include runways that aren't long enough, air traffic control systems that are unreliable, and inadequate safety procedures that shattered public confidence in air travel.
Marks: Even today, months later, that confidence has
been slow to return. Passengers like
businessman Eduardo Schaneider, checking in at
Eduardo Schaneider: You have to go on a
Marks: Horacio Forjaz, Embraer's Executive Vice
President, says Embraer's future is overwhelmingly tied to
Horacio Forjaz: We would like to compete on a so-called level playing field. This is an industry which is seen as strategic by many, many nations in the world, so it is objective of attention and priorities by governments. Well, we understand that, but this level of attention and support cannot go beyond rules which are established and accepted internationally.
Marks: It's a battle that Embraer once couldn't
dream of waging. Today, like many others
For Brazil Rising, I'm Simon Marks at the headquarters of Embraer.
David Brown: The roar of the surf in Rio, the waters of
the Atlantic washing up on the golden shores of
Carlos Tavares is one of them. Just steps from the beach he manages a surf-shop, selling boards, the wax to polish them, waterproof clothing to wear on them, and all the other accoutrements used by the surfing fraternity.
Carlos Tavares: I did it because I wanted to.
Brown: He's talking about opening a small business,
Bureaucracy is so overwhelming and taxes so overbearing that
Brazilian entrepreneurs have a phrase:
the "cost of
Tavares: I know many people who wanted to open
businesses, thinking it would be '
Brown: And it is hard. On average it takes 17
procedures and 152 days to open a business in
Tavares: Everybody dreams of having a business and it's good, because it generates more jobs, you're helping the government which can then help poor people. It's a philosophy I agree with.
Brown: That last remark hints at a much bigger story
about how economic changes are being felt here. Now it's true, Brazilians have embraced
capitalism in a big way, but the
entrepreneurial dream of starting out with nothing and bootstrapping your
way to the top, that's far from a reality for most here. Many are not yet convinced that anything but
government largesse can lift millions of Brazilians out of
crushing poverty. Of course, attitudes may change as now that
massive capital is flowing into
From farms in the central plains to fuel pumps in Rio,
that’s next as we travel across the biggest country in
(Gas station sounds)
David Brown: From the Stanley Foundation, KQED Public Radio and KUT-Austin, you're listening to "Brazil Rising."
I’m David Brown.
This gas station in
I live in
Porter: There are 35,000 gas stations like this
selling ethanol in
Two hours from
(Cutting and peeling sound)
Porter: Here a worker with giant sugar company COSAN, hacks down a sugar cane stalk and peels back its outer shell revealing the meat inside.
COSAN Employee (explaining process): And after this fiber, the sugar cane goes through crushing...
Porter: This is the first step in ethanol production. The sweet sugar juice inside is squeezed out, leaving behind only hard fibers known here as "bagausse."
COSAN Employee: You can see the bagausse there, that's mountain bagausse.
Porter: Many of the producers here burn this "bagausse," the left over portion of the cane, to generate the electricity used to run ethanol plants. In fact, that process generates so much electricity; they sell the surplus back to the power grid.
Marcos Jank is president of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association.
Marcos Jank: I like to say that the plant called sugar cane is becoming the "ethanol cane" and the "electricity cane" in the future.
Porter: In fact, experts across
Barbara Bramble: I think you can feel confident that
Porter: Barbara Bramble is the National Wildlife
Federation’s senior adviser on international affairs. And she also addressed another concern
sometimes raised about sugar cane production in
Bramble: There's no way to blame even a majority – not even close to a majority of the deforestation in the Amazon directly on sugarcane growing. Even if the displacement was one for one, if every single cow that had been growing in São Paulo was actually walked up to the Amazon personally that would not account for the vast expansion of soy and cattle in the Amazon.
(Noise from trading pits at Mercantile and Futures Exchange.)
Porter: Raw energy and pure capitalism are on display
in the trading pits of the Mercantile and Futures Exchange in
President George W. Bush: We must also change how we power our automobiles.
President Bush: We'll also fund additional research in
cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol.
By applying the talent and technology of
Jose Luis Oliverio: When President Bush introduced in his annual
speech the ethanol as an important subject. And after that, the world start to
Porter: Jose Luis Oliverio is head of technology and development at Dedini Industries, makers of the equipment which produces sugar and ethanol.
Porter: But the “togetherness” of the
Clifford Sobel, the U.S. Ambassador to
Ambassador Clifford Sobel: In regards to your question on tariffs, those are legislatively determined. Our Congress determines that, and it’ll be up to Congress to make changes to that if they so desire.
Porter: In the long run, the American tariff may mean
Again, US Ambassador Sobel.
Porter: Back at this busy Rio beachside fuel station,
Motorists waiting for fuel here, like Jose Carlos
Cavalcante, take obvious pride in
Cavalcante: This “Green Gas,” as we
call it, is special in these days where we worry about the environment. And I
think is very important that
"Brazil Rising," I'm
(Sounds of walking through crop fields.)
David Brown: You’re listening to Brazil Rising, I'm David
Brown. And right now we’re walking among
fields of corn and soybeans, but what’s really being cultivated in these
(News program: John Chancellor speaking - "An immediate stop to all exports of soybeans, cotton seed and products made from them was imposed today by the administration.....")
Brown: The date was June 27th, 1973....NBC anchorman John Chancellor announcing that President Richard Nixon was imposing an embargo on the sale of US soybeans overseas in a bid to control food prices at home. Earl Butz was the US Agriculture Secretary at the time.
Earl Butz: The situation requires drastic action. We're all quite concerned about inflation in this country, we're concerned about the price of food stuffs but as Secretary of Agriculture, I want to make as sure as we can make it that we have adequate supplies of meat and milk and eggs the rest of this year and into 1974.
Brown: Chances are President Nixon wasn't thinking
(Harvesting equipment sound)
Brown: You know, from this vantage point, if you
didn’t know any better, you’d think you were on a farm in the
Marcelino Sato: Brazilian agriculture has been very important for the country's progress, and also for the world in terms of food production.
Brown: Vast brown fields of soybeans seem to disappear under the combine’s blades....
Brown: And then all these beans are then loaded onto
trucks that drive into the dusty fields to collect their valuable cargo. It's
the first step on a journey that will take Brazilian soy all the way to the
other side of the world. Fifteen
thousand miles from the
This farm, like the rest as far as the eye can see, was
developed back when
And that means new excitement about agriculture. Just up the road they’re setting up an agricultural trade fair.
Brown: The signs of change are literally all around you. Just look at these logos: Monsanto, DuPont, New Holland, Pioneer. Tractors, ploughs and other equipment from some of the world's largest manufacturers are on display for young local farmers like Rodrigo Varsoto, who speak the language not just of local farming technology and but of global trade.
Rodrigo Varsoto: We cannot afford to make mistakes. We have to be precise in everything that we
Brown: Felix Schouchana analyzes agriculture for something called the BM&F, the country's mercantile exchange.
Felix Schouchana: The agricultural sector is very strong because we have land, we have people, we have a very competitive price.
Brown: Now he argues that the revolution taking on Brazil's farms, well, it's not just giving China a chance to feed its people but it's also giving Brazilians an economic opportunity to escape the violent social decay of their country's inner cities and get back to the land.
have to balance our development, and this is one key point, to avoid all the
troubles that we have in big cities like
For decades, clearing crops for fields and pasture has been
considered important to economic development, and for many Brazilians, the
first step toward land ownership. But
Scott Paul studies the issue for Greenpeace.
Scott Paul: There is a time and a place when an area needs to be preserved. Realize that the vast majority of species, plants and animals in the Amazon have not been cataloged, the biodiversity is immense. Since the second half of 2007 when the most recent statistics came in, deforestation has been on the rise significantly.
sorts of concerns, especially from the outside world, are seen with a degree of
contempt and suspicion by some here. In fact, there's a popular refrain “the
Amazon belongs to
One Brazilian official offered an eye-opening personal
perspective when he told us, not without a small degree of frustration and
these were his words, “There’s a kind of fixation about the Amazon that borders
on fetishism, and it comes from outsiders, people whose only contact is from TV
or the movies or foreign newspapers.” But that’s not entirely true. In May
2008, for example,
President Luis Inacio
da Silva: I have often said that our
foreign policy is not just a way of projecting
Brown: That's Brazilian President Luis Inacio da
Silva, better known as "President Lula." It was during a joint news conference with
President Bush when he visited
President Lula's election three years earlier was a
watershed moment for this country. Lula was a former shoe-shine boy and metal
worker with who had no formal education, but he went on to lead the left-wing
Brazilian Workers' Party to power and he immediately set about trying to
deliver economic stability and a fairer shake for the country's poor. How big
was that task? Well, try this, try
asking any Brazilian over the age of about 40 how many currencies the country
has had in their lifetime. In fact, we put that very question to
Celso Amorim: Well, I don't think I can count them, but at least five or six I would say, because you had crusedo, new crusedo, then you had cruzado, then you had real. Well, so you had at least five or six. I mean in my lifetime, inflation was daily life.
(Shopping mall sound)
Brown: It is tough to imagine today when you visit
Rio Sul, this was the first western-style shopping mall to open in
Brown: His friend Debora Ribeiro is a store clerk here.
Debora Ribeiro: I remember when I was a kid we had many problems. Now we don't. I know the economy has grown. My mother is better off, and poverty isn't as widespread as it used to be.
Brown: Foreign Minister Amorim credits his boss,
President Lula, with prioritizing the redistribution of wealth. It's something he says
Amorim: The fact that we have a metal worker who became President - the fact that democracy has consolidated in Brazil, And the fact also that now we have a very stable economy but with growth, and very importantly with income distribution, which never happened at least at this pace before. I think these things combined, allowed us to have a more pro-active foreign policy.
Brown: And that new foreign policy has led
Roberto Mangaberia Unger: It's great, but it's not enough.
Brown: That is the voice of another Brazilian
government minister, Roberto Mangaberia Unger, a social theorist and
philosopher who spent much of his childhood in the
Unger's mere presence here is yet another indication that
Unger: We are one of the most unequal countries in the history of the modern world. We seethe with energy, but we lack opportunity. What the nation now wants is a model of development based on a broadening of economic and educational opportunity. That requires us to do something we have never learned to do, to re-imagine and reconstruct our institutions.
Brown: Listening to Minister Unger speak, you get a sense that senior government figures view the Lula presidency as a chance to experiment politically, economically, even socially, with Brazil's approach to itself and the wider world.
Unger: We have to rebel. We have to innovate. We have to defy. We have to smash the idols. We have not yet presented systemic alternatives to the world, a different way of organizing the political and economic institutions in the world, so that the world becomes more hospitable to economic, political and cultural pluralism than it now is.
Brown: That means fighting for a seat on the UN Security Council, working to reform the world's international financial institutions, and bringing together developing countries that seek to challenge the existing world order.
Charles Tang: I think
Brown: Charles Tang wonders whether the Brazilian
government is sufficiently focused on that goal. He heads the Brazil-China
Chamber of Commerce. It opened its doors in 1986 when, as he puts it,
Roberto Unger: Our basic problem is that we have not yet
found the road to socially-inclusive economic growth. The most important social fact about
Brown: Strategic Affairs Minister Roberto Unger.
Unger: The great Brazilian revolution today would be for the government to give these people instruments and opportunities, and to allow the majority to follow the example of this vanguard of emergent self-help entrepreneurs.
Brown: And how long does Minister Unger think this revolution will take?
Unger: I don't care how long it takes. I care when it begins.
Brown: The great revolution Unger dreams about is
not a cultural transformation of self-help and enterprise as we think of
it in the
As we travel this country, we are seeing signs of tremendous economic growth, booming prosperity, and yet for all its dynamism, this place remains remain home to millions of profoundly poor people, living in tumbledown tin shacks on some of the toughest streets anywhere in the world.
We’re going there next, as we continue to explore "Brazil Rising." Stay with us.
David Brown: From the Stanley Foundation, KQED Public radio and KUT Austin, you’re listening to "Brazil Rising."
I’m David Brown.
And our journey through Latin America’s most populous country has taken us to one of the most extraordinary capital cities in the world—a city that wouldn’t exist were it not for an explicit vision to transform Brazil into the country of the future.
As part of a massive undertaking to settle western
And on both sides of the plaza are towering U.N.-style
buildings that together house
But what all this futurism belies is the harsh reality of real city life, every day city life, with issues of poverty, illiteracy, and high crime.
Kristin McHugh: David, favelas or shanty towns, are easy to
see as they dot the hillsides throughout
Despite these challenges,
(Hair salon sound, street sound)
McHugh: A concrete garage along a rutted, dirt road
in Vila Marcelo, a poor neighborhood in
Deise Duarte da Silva: Nothing better than a mother and a daughter working together. As a matter of fact, my clients say this is the beauty salon "of the mother and daughter."
McHugh: 32 year-old Deise Duarte da Silva owns this,
yet to be named, hair salon along with her oldest daughter, 17-year old
Silvia. Deise is a recipient of a
Deise Duarte da Silva: It helps a lot. They buy school material for the children. The government helps, but there is always something missing, so they help a lot.
McHugh: Deise’s younger daughters have access to reduced or free medical care and a variety of children’s activities. Deise and Silvia were also given the opportunity to take a hairdresser course for free.
McHugh: Deise, a former house cleaner, jumped at the chance to open her own business with Silvia. The salon is simple: two barber-style chairs, two mirrors hanging on freshly painted peach-colored walls, a wooden payment counter, and a portable sink.
Deise Duarte da Silva: I am secure. It’s a dream come true. I thought one day I could, but I didn’t know it would happen this fast.
McHugh: Wearing black boots, stylish jeans and a coordinating denim jacket, Deise commands the salon with confidence while still attending clients with grace.
McHugh: Today she is coloring and cutting the long, dark locks of Fabrecia. The 26 year old new mom brought her own hair color, and couldn’t wait to spend the roughly six dollar fee to transform her look.
(Hair cutting sound)
Patrus Ananias de
McHugh: Patrus Ananias de Souza is
de Souza: The families that received Bolsa Familia were more willing to look for a job than those who did not receive it.
McHugh: Nearly one-quarter of
Rodrigo Maia: In
McHugh: Rodrigo Maia leads
Maia: You have to invest in education. In the poorest communities, the majority of mothers are the head of the house, which proves that there is a need to increase the child’s education between birth and five years of age.
McHugh: Minster de Souza strongly says Bolsa Familia strikes at the very roots of the opposition’s concerns.
de Souza: We intend to preserve family bonds, we know that a poor families may fall apart, the children instead of going to school like we want, they will go to the streets, with the predictable consequences that we know.
McHugh: Residents of Jardim Raineri, a tough
neighborhood south of
Police Captain Gilberto da Silva: In 1999, we had the biggest number of homicides and it was considered, by research done by the United Nations, as the most dangerous place in the world, more homicides than countries with wars.
(Police station sound)
McHugh: Captain Gilberto da Silva and his crew work out of a substation located along one of Jardim Raineri’s busiest intersections. The substation opened in 1999 after residents asked for help in tackling the neighborhood's seemingly endless violent crime.
Luis da Silva: When I came to live here it was very dangerous.
McHugh: Driver Luis Jorge da Silva, no relation to the police captain, has lived in this neighborhood for 14 years.
Luis da Silva: People got mugged with guns, homicides, fights at the bars at night. It really improved when the police base was installed.
(Driving sound/street sound)
McHugh: Captain da Silva and nearly a dozen of his officers were anxious to take us out on patrol. As our convoy snaked through the narrow streets of Jardim Raineri, officers stopped a series of what they termed “suspicious” men on motorcycles.
McHugh: Guns drawn, the officers were taking no chances.
Suspects are ordered to spread their feet and place their hands on the wall. They are frisked for guns and are then ordered to remove their shirts so officers can check for gang tattoos.
(Police radio sound)
McHugh: Crowds of onlookers gather as officers verify identification papers with the main police base. After several minutes, the suspects are allowed to leave.
Captain da Silva: We look for drugs and guns, to take the guns away from the people who are not allowed to carry guns.
McHugh: This show of force is clearly working. Captain da Silva says the neighborhood’s homicide rate has dropped an astounding 80-percent since the police base opened. But the tough police approach is not without controversy. Local human rights groups and the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture have been critical of the Jardim Raineri substation’s tough tactics.
Captain da Silva even acknowledges his department will do what it takes to stamp out crime. Neighborhood residents we talked to, don’t seem to mind. Again, resident Luis da Silva.
Luis da Silva: The action of the police is very important to the region. At night, the cars circulating on the roads, it brings security to the people.
McHugh: Back at Deise and Silvia’s new beauty salon, business is booming. Deise hopes to invest her returns and expand the salon in the future. Her daughter Silvia has even bigger ambitions.
Silvia: I intend to open my own beauty salon, to have my own house, to get married, and I want to continue working with my mom. I love my job. I want to be a hairdresser for the rest of my life.
McHugh: For Brazil Rising, I’m
David Brown: 6:30 in the morning, and the view is world class.
There it is, that famous beach. All that’s missing is the girl.
("Girl from Ipanema" music)
really was a girl from Ipanema. She used
to stroll by this very café on her way to the beach. In 1962, in this café, two
young composers, Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim, wrote the song
that would become, far and away,
there’s what the world thinks
(Music by Ana Carolina)
Brown: Multi-instrumentalist Ana Carolina is a huge star here. She has an explosive stage show, an arsenal of radio-friendly and provocative pop-songs. And ambition.
Ana Carolina: I would like to sell like the Beatles. I would love to be recognized by everyone. I would like to show my music for the largest number of people. I can't lie.
Brown: But if Ana
(Ana Carolina performing “Fever” in English)
Brown: But here’s the rub: as
Bernardo Araujo: Why should somebody, say in
Brown: Bernardo Araujo writes about music for
Araujo: You have to lose some money. And then you go one summer, play five festivals and then people get to know you. And in the case of Ana Carolina, you have a strong physical image that's going to help you stick in people's heads. And then if you invest, you might be rewarded for it in a couple of years.
Brown: You might.
(Music by Teresa Christina)
Brown: But the stakes are so high, the investment so great, the odds so long, why bother? Take Teresa Christina, she's got the talent, the strong reputation, has lots of invitations to perform abroad. But here at home, she's selling out shows, without having to sell out in other ways. At least that’s the way Christina sees it.
Teresa Christina: What happens is that it's very expensive to hire a band like mine, with so many musicians. It's very expensive to travel. Most of the time they don't offer much money, because there's no sponsor, and they want us to come there with just two or three musicians and do a Brazilian music show. But it is very difficult without compromising the musicality or the arrangements. I think to be known internationally, I don't have to be an international musician. I can still be a Brazilian artist.
(Music by Theresa Christina)
Brown: These days, for Brazilian musicians, the
price of going global may be just a bit too steep. When you think about the fact that once upon
a time music was considered
(Music by Teresa Christina)
David Brown: I was sitting in the terminal lounge at Rio’s
Galeao airport as we wrapped up our journey through
But the images that remain most persistent were those small
things that individually don’t mean much, but together leave you with
impressions and emotions. Little things, like the comment of the farmer
who told me his biggest problem was that John Deere couldn’t make enough
tractors. Like the Chinese businessman who casually predicted
I remember being astonished at the skyscrapers of
I thought about a conversation I had with a Brazilian government minister a few days earlier. We have so much in common, he said, referring to our respective countries. We’re both vast places with tremendous opportunity, with a sense of destiny, a history of slavery, and a massive discrepancy between the rich and poor.
Henry Luce famously called the 20th century the American
century, a period when the
Brown: That’s all
front page stuff. But while
everyone’s been focused on those changes, Latin America’s biggest country has
positioned itself much as the
What we’ve seen as we’ve toured this enormous land is a
place bursting at the seams with growth, fueled by massive amounts of foreign
investment and, a worldwide hunger for its natural resources. A
As our plane finally took off bound for
At the moment, the story of
Brown: "Brazil Rising," was produced
by Simon Marks, Kristin McHugh, and
Our sound engineer was Rima Snyder of Red Wagon Audio. Special thanks to Ken Mills, Renata Araujo, Katia Cruz, Marcel Andrade, Wellington Goncalves, Christopher McCalley, Frederico Kopittke, Cliff Brockman, Steve Mort, and the staff of Feature Story News. For more information about "Brazil Rising," or to share your thoughts about this program, visit us online at stanleyfoundation.org.
I’m David Brown. Thanks for joining us.
This text has been professionally transcribed; however, for timely distribution, it has not been edited or proofread against the audio.
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