Miriam Leitao at PostGlobal

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. She is also a commentator on Globo TV Network and runs her own blog, www.miriamleitao.com, hosted at Globo online at www.oglobo.com.br. She was awarded Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 2005. Close.

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. more »

Main Page | Miriam Leitao Archives | PostGlobal Archives

December 2007 Archives

December 6, 2007 11:05 AM

And the Winner Is...Democracy!

This referendum was not about right and left. Hugo Chavez’s defeat is a win for democracy in a region that has been facing dictatorships and populist leaders since the beginning of its Republican History. It was about giving Chavez unacceptable power that could have destroyed what remained of Venezuela’s democratic institutions. The real choice was between an archaic and a new way of doing politics in Latin America. Fortunately, Chavez has lost.

I interviewed Chavez in 2003, during Venezuela’s general strike. At the time, I could see some signals that reminded me of my days spent living under a military regime in my own country, Brazil. When I arrived at the presidential palace, I followed all the security routines: I opened my bags and my crew’s TV equipment baggage, displayed all the documents demanded, answered all the stupid bureaucratic questions and passed through the metal detector. Despite following the rules, I was ushered into the Miraflores’ Palace as though I were an enemy soldier: a guard leveled his assault rifle at me and walked backwards in front of me, all the way from the main gate to the building’s front door.

I was led into a room and told to wait there. After three hours, Chavez came into the room, protected by a ridiculous number of guards and generals. For God’s sake, it was only a simple interview!

While I asked my questions, he had an unusual way to show his disapproval, shouting back, “Crazy! Are you crazy?!” It was a ridiculous scene. I kept replying “No, I am not,” and repeating my questions.

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December 17, 2007 2:09 PM

Emissions Don’t Equal Development

**Editor's Note: This piece was written in response to a question asking panelists to choose the best of six proposals on how to move forward on climate change. Read More Panelist Views**

The final accord in Bali saved countries from a different deadlock that would have been even harder to break. That was encouraging, because the alternative was a total breakdown of the negotiation process. We needed the roadmap to move ahead to a safer future. However, that doesn’t entice too much celebration. To keep the U.S. in the negotiations, it was necessary to reduce the emphasis and goals; to bring the emerging powers to the target system was necessary a diplomatic change of words. Instead of “mandatory targets” they will take “measurable, reportable and verifiable” measures. That’s something, but far less than what is necessary to reduce our risk.

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December 31, 2007 1:48 PM

Victory for Brazilian Democracy in 2007

The Question: What was the biggest news story in your country last year [in 2007], and why?

Corruption is a disturbing problem in Brazil. It is a threat to our 22-year-old democracy, and it is undermining the faith in politics and in a representative system of government. So it was especially relevant when forty of Brazilian President Lula’s aides, former aides, and government party leaders were brought to trial. It became Brazil’s most important news story in 2007.

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