Yankee Impressions and Brazilian Realities

Yankee Impressions and Brazilian Realities

Robert A. Packenham

People in the United States, as James Reston once pointed out, will do almost anything for Latin America except read about it. Unless there is a coup in Chile, or Seiiora Peron flees Buenos Aires, it seems the Norteamericanos are not interested. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's two trips to Latin America this year got little attention, although he was visiting an area of growing concern to U.S. business and diplomacy. One of the countries he visited was Brazil, the biggest, most powerful na- tion to the South, and no longer a "client" of Washington on the world scene.

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Since 1964, when the military took power for the first time in the twentieth century, two impressions of Brazil have been growing in the United States.

Businessmen and State Department officials, in particular, have seen in Brazil a growing industrial juggernaut, an emerging regional power, a new force in Third World politics, and the strongest pillar of stability and anti-Communism in Latin America.

On the other hand, liberal politicians, journalists, intellectuals, and many religious and humanitarian groups have tended to see a military junta, appalling repression and torture, the erosion of national sovereignty, and a growing gap between rich and poor.


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