a blog with cultural bulimia.

Saturday, September 27, 2003


 via Estado de S. Paulo, i'm following the visit of Lula, Brazilian President, to Cuba to pay his respects to his idol, Fidel.

It's hard to conceive, living in the United States, that Cuba has normal diplomatic realtions with other countries. As a matter of fact, one of Lula's mission is to re-negotiate the Cuban debt with brazilian companies and the government - debts incurred not under this government, but in previous ones - right-wing ones - Brazil never ceased to do business with Cuba.

Lula is the first president to come from the Workers Party, a party that was still illegal around the time i moved to New York. It has roots in the old socialist school of thought but molded by the history of the last 20 years and by the brazilian way-of-life-and-politics.

In exchange for re-financing the debt, the president expects to guarantee brazilian monopoly of certain cuban industries like alcohol and orange juice, which the government seem to think will be easier to control after Fidel is gone - a statement that i'm surprised to see in print.

So, yes, Lula idolizes Fidel.

But i'm glad to see that 'friends are friends but business is business".