Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is having difficulty keeping campaign promises she made.
The New York Times is reporting that Rousseff, now entering the third month of her second term as president, was voted into office by the Brazilian population on a platform of building a supereconomy with the oil industry, while ridding the country of the scandals that have infiltrated other oil-dependent countries. Now, it is being reported that Petrobas, the oil company that Rousseff had backed and supported, is coming under fire for a massive bribery scandal, the kind she talked of avoiding.
The scandal is working hand in hand with a poor economy. A second year of contraction within the economy could send Brazil’s economy to its worst since the Great Depression of 1929 and 1930.
The one-two punch sent thousands upon thousands of Brazilians into the streets of Sao Paolo demanding Rousseff to resign. On Wednesday, the results of a public service opinion poll was released, with Rousseff’s popularity showing at a miserable 13 percent.
Rousseff’s idea for the oil industry was to capitalize on the beds of deep-sea oil that was found almost a decade ago. Rousseff wanted government control over the drilling and processing of the beds to help stimulate the government. She promoted and reshaped the oil industry in a national image to take advantage of the amount of oil in the beds. However, the Petrobas scandal, coupled with lower global oil prices and massive job losses have damaged Rousseff’s plans.
According to the New Yorker, Rousseff is the beneficiary of the previous governmental bribery scandal. Rousseff pledged to avoid such scandals during her campaign. Brazil’s newly democratic system couldn’t buy this up fast enough, and swept Rousseff into office. In January, Rousseff celebrated her second election victory. Now, the reason Rousseff was elected president may end up be the reason she’s removed from office. However, she has been extended a most unexpected lifeline by the United States.
Vice President Joe Biden extended an invitation to Rousseff earlier this year, which Rousseff quickly accepted. This surprised many political pundits, because she was supposed to visit the United States in 2013 for a White House state dinner. However, Rousseff, as did the rest of the world, discovered that the National Security Agency had been listening into her communications. This, coupled with the anti-American sentiment, gave Rousseff the ability to cancel the invite.
Now, for her, lifelines are running short, and she’ll grab at anyone who can throw her a life preserver for support and assistance. Time will tell if any kind of American intervention will help in any way.
[Image courtesy of Forbes]