By MIKHAIL PASHKOVSKY—
… and between the parallels 15º and 20º south, there was a large and wide stream that began from a point where a lake was formed. When the hidden mines are caved in the middle of these hills, a great civilisation will show up, a promised land from where comes out milk and honey…
– Prophecy of Saint John Bosco, 1883
In 1883, an Italian priest named Dom Bosco had a strange dream of a land abundant in precious metals and oil that would be discovered between the 15th and 20th parallels. Many believe that Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil, is that place.
Brazil in the 21st century is fast emerging as a cultural and economic powerhouse. Brazil’s influence and wealth are increasing around the world.
Many economists believe Brazil, the largest and most populous country in South America, is on track to become one of the world’s four major economic powers. Together with Russia, China, and India, Brazil is expected to dominate the world economy by 2050. With a vibrant population of 190 million, Brazil will become an important player on the world stage in the 21st century.
According to the on-line resource Wikipedia: “BRIC or BRICs are terms used in economics to refer to the combination of Brazil, Russia, India, and China… [T]here are strong indications that the ‘four BRIC countries have been seeking to form a political club’ or ‘alliance,’ and thereby converting ‘their growing economic power into greater geopolitical clout.’ One of the recent indications was from a BRIC Summit meeting in 2008, in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg between the foreign ministers from the BRIC countries.”
Former Russian President Vladimir Putin is regarded as the instigator and driving force behind the BRIC cooperative coalition. Since 2000, Brazil has entered into an important alliance with Russia. In response to an invitation made by Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Vladimir Putin made a state visit to Brazil in November 2004. In October 2005, during a state visit of President Lula to Moscow, Silva and Putin signed the bilateral Brazil-Russia Strategic Alliance.
Brazil has also developed close ties to two other great nations with ancient and rich histories, India and China.
There is enormous interest in Brazil in Indian religion, art, culture, and philosophy. Hindu gurus and spiritual organisations are well received in Brazil. Mahatma Gandhi is highly regarded in the country and the government has sought to teach his philosophy of non-violence to the police. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is located in a prominent square in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Brazilian President Lula exchanged official visits, and committed themselves to bringing the countries’ friendship and cooperation to a higher level of development. Since then China’s presence can be seen everywhere in Brazil: oil, gas, railways, ports, steel and defence. In the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, Chinese language classes are packed.
Following the 2008 global financial meltdown, Brazil along with its partners Russia, India and China is demanding a major role in negotiations to restructure the international financial system and prevent another economic crisis. After meeting in November with top economic officials from the four nations, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said they will insist developing nations have a significant say in deciding how to fix the problems that lead to the global financial crisis.
“We are still directed and controlled by institutions that reflect the economic situation of the 1940s and 1950s,” Mantega said. Back then, the so-called BRIC nations were economic backwaters, and China and Russia were ruled by communist regimes. Mantega said the world financial structure created by rich nations can’t be fixed without a strong say from the BRIC nations.
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