Magazine article Newsweek International

Fighting Words

Magazine article Newsweek International

Fighting Words

Article excerpt

Byline: Mac Margolis

Dilma channels her 'Inner Lula.'

Just 18 months ago, when Dilma Rousseff took office as president of Brazil, you could almost hear the sighs sweeping the corner offices of the Western diplomatic establishment. After all, she had just replaced Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the charismatic populist who rarely missed an opportunity to lecture rich nations for ignoring the lot of the poor or provoking global financial Armageddon. Surely Rousseff, a political neophyte known for her PowerPoint skills but not commanding a bully pulpit, would be easier to deal with. Or would she?

For anyone listening in on the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, the answers are clearer now. The sharp, 23-minute speech that kicked off the assembly was not without its rhetorical flourishes. "To many, we women are half of heaven, but we want to be half of earth as well, with equal rights and opportunities," she said. But in the balance of her address, Rousseff could have been channeling Lula as she flayed global decisionmakers for their mismanagement and shortsightedness in the teeth of crisis. Wearing a bold designer print and a power hairstyle, she scrolled through a laundry list of First World failings, from the quagmire in Syria to unbending fiscal orthodoxy and beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism.

Though she avoided naming names, Rousseff called out "industrial world central banks" for their loose money policies that flood the markets with cheap dollars and euros and so punish emerging markets, "which lose market share due to the artificial overpricing of their currencies," she said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.