Archive for Brazil
A Brazilian vice consul has died following a car crash in the South American country of Guyana. Police say Theotonio Santa Cruz Oliveira died Saturday following a head-on crash in the southwest border town of Lethem on a main highway leading to Brazil. Police said two other people from Guyana involved in the crash were hospitalized with serious injuries. Authorities say they do not yet know what caused the crash. They said Oliveira died after being taken to a hospital in neighboring Brazil.
Israel denounced Brazil for recalling its ambassador to Israel for consultations in protest over the IDF’s operation in the Gaza Strip, calling it an economic power but an irrelevant diplomatic power. “This is an unfortunate demonstration of why Brazil, an economic and cultural giant, remains a diplomatic dwarf,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “The moral relativism behind this move makes Brazil an irrelevant diplomatic partner, one who creates problems rather than contributes to solutions.” A statement put out by the Brazilian Foreign Ministry announcing the recall of its ambassador said Brazil considered the “escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine” as unacceptable. “We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip.” Foreign Ministry officials were bracing for other Latin American countries to follow suit, noting that Brazil often sets the tone in South America. In 2010, once Brazil recognized a Palestinian state, a number of other South American countries did the same.
Employees at Brazil’s consulates began a two-day strike Tuesday that affected visa services in major cities in the United States and Europe just weeks before the World Cup. Local employees at Brazilian diplomatic offices said they hoped to pressure the government to increase their pay and other compensation, arguing the government has frozen their salaries in the past years. Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said the Tuesday-Wednesday strike was only slowing operations at nine consulates and one embassy, but did not say which ones. The Association of Local Employees at Brazilian Foreign Missions said strikes or protests were hitting 17 cities in North America and Europe, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Toronto, London, Paris and Rome. Some consulates posted a message on their websites saying they were responding only to emergency requests made by Brazilian nationals. Brazil’s consulates have been issuing for free a special category of visa for tourists visiting Brazil for soccer’s World Cup that begins June 12. Applicants need to have tickets for a match. Marcia Ramos, a representative of the association, said it has 1,800 members in more than 50 Brazilian diplomatic offices around the world, but she said it wasn’t yet clear how many were participating in the strike. “Our demand is simple: They need to replace the lost wages they have not raised in recent years,” Ramos said in an email. The foreign ministry said its contracts with local employees adhere to the laws of the countries where consulates are located, arguing there is no way to negotiate collectively.
Concerned with the safety of Brazilian players, Brazil ambassador, Maria Auxiliadora Figueirado, visited the T-Team office in Kuala Terengganu. She said the Brazilian embassy wants to ensure the safety of Brazilian citizens after striker Evaldo Concalves was allegedly punched in the face by a Johor FA official during a FA Cup second round tie between Johor Darul Ta’zim and T-Team in Larkin on Feb 1. It is also alleged that during the incident, Brazilian defender Fabio Flor de Azivedo was verbally abused by the same official while fitness coach Stefano Impagliazzo was kicked in the groin by a security man. Maria said: “After the unfortunate incident, we received complaints from the Brazilian trio in T-Team and we are here now to talk with the T-Team management over the players’ safety. “It is the job of the embassy to ensure the safety of our citizens and should they be in danger, we will have no choice but take them out of this country,” she said after a meeting with T-Team chief executive officer Ab Rasid Jusoh, manager Rozi Mamat and head coach Azraai Khor. Rozi said it will be best to leave it to the police and the FA of Malaysia to complete their investigations.
Bahrain will soon open its first South American embassy in Brazil, with others also being considered, it was announced on Sunday. The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, made the decision after a study by the Foreign Ministry, Gulf Daily News reported. “There are huge interests between Bahrain and South American countries, but we are not represented there,” Minister of State for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab said. “Anything in relation to South American countries was being done by our embassy in Washington and that is illogical.”
Brazilian mom says she and her daughter want to leave Norway because child welfare authorities allege the 3-year-old girl is not being fed in a “normal” way. Vitoria Alves Jesumary and her daughter Sofia sought refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Oslo last week and say they won’t leave until Norway guarantees they can return to Brazil unhindered. Child welfare officials became involved with the family during Jesumary’s divorce proceeding from her husband, a Norwegian of Chilean descent. The father says he also wants his ex-wife and daughter to be able to leave Norway. Francisco Chagas Catunda Resende, a spokesman for the embassy, said embassy staff believed it was in “the best interests of the child” that she and her mother be allowed to go back to Brazil.
Brazilian newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo, reported the surveillance on embassy officials while they were in the capital, Brasilia, over a decade ago based on intelligence service documents they obtained from an anonymous source, the Associateds Press reported. The Brazilian government confirmed the accusations on Monday and said it’s intelligence service Abin spied on United States, Russian, Iranian and Iraqi diplomats, the AP reported. The statement also said Brazil’s Institutional Security Cabinet planned to prosecute anyone who may have leaked the documents. The surveillance described is small in comparison to the spy programs carried out by the U.S. in Brazil which were leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the AP. The Abin intelligence service is managed by Brazil’s Institutional Security Cabinet who claims all operations cited by the Folha “follow Brazilian law for the protection of national interests,” the AP reported. The documents obtained by the Folha stated the intelligence agency constantly monitored the space rented by U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, claiming they suspected the space of harboring spy equipment, the AP reported. The report said Abin had concluded that the offices held “communications equipment.” The spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Brazil Dean Cheves did not comment on Abin’s surveillance, the AP reported, but he said the office served as “a relay station for walkie-talkie radios carried by embassy personnel, who carry the radios as back up communications for emergencies or in case cellphone service goes down.” The documents also show Russian, Iranian and Iraqi diplomats being photographed as they came and went different locations, and particularly targeted Russian officials who were negotiating an arms deal in Brazil at the time, the AP reported.