Photo by Wilson Dias/Agencia Brasil published on jornalgrandebahia.com.br
By Joshua Tartakovsky
2 November, 2014
The successful reelection of Dilma Rousseff to the presidency of Brazil on Sunday, October 26th, will undoubtedly give a boost not only to Russian-Brazil relations but also to the BRICS Development Bank and to the emergence of multipolar world more generally. Whereas the US media has for the most part tacitly supported the center-right candidate Alécio Neves while warning that a Rousseff reelection will strongly harm international investments in Brazil, Brazilians have decided to vote for who they believed would best serve their best interest and granted Dilma Rousseff 51.6% of the vote.
While Neves was supportive of stronger ties with the US and did not voice support for the new BRICS Development Bank that stands as an alternative, however modest, to the International Monetary Fund, Rousseff has shown that she is not fearful of expressing Brazil’s independent voice in the international arena. Following the tapping of her private conversations by the United States National Security Agency, Rousseff canceled her trip to the United States in September 2013. Trade with the US on defense and energy had also declined. In her speeches in the United Nations in 2013 and 2014, Rousseff warned against US hubris and its meddling in other countries affairs.
It may be interesting to note that Rousseff was not fearful of taking a strong position after Brazil’s trust in the US was violated, arguing that such behavior should not be carried out by partners, much as Russia did not hesitate to take strong actions following the US support for fascist groups who carried out the coup in Kiev.
While some Western pundits were hoping that following the annexation of the Crimea, Russia would become isolated and forced to surrender to US dictates, not only did cooperation among BRICS nations increase (leading to the formation of the BRICS Development Bank), but President Putin is now viewed in the developing world as a courageous leader who has the stamina to stand up to Western bullying despite the immense economic leverage the US carries.
Had Senator Neves been elected to the presidency of Brazil, a central member of the BRICS alliance would have not attempted to present alternatives to Washington’s orthodoxies and to US hegemony, and Brazil would have probably cooled its relationship with Russia. However, with President Rousseff’s reelection, collaboration between Russia and Brazil is likely to increase and intensify.