Brazil’s New President: U.S. Ally or Rival?

Ray Walser /

On October 31, 2010, Brazilian voters elected that country’s first female president: Dilma Rouseff. Ms. Rouseff of the leftist Workers’ Party defeated her Center-Right rival Jose Serra by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent of the votes cast. A former leftist guerilla turned technocrat, Ms. Rouseff was chief of staff to outgoing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Siva. This is her first elected post.

Ms. Rouseff glided into presidential office on a crest of optimism generated by the policy successes and popularity of Lula, Brazil’s popular president. With an over 80% approval rating, Lula has overseen eight years of nearly uninterrupted economic growth, substantial poverty reduction and an expanded if sometimes ambiguous role for Brazil on the global stage. (more…)