Thursday, September 18, 2014

Marina Silva and Foreign Policy

Marina Silva said in an interview that she would seek improved ties with the United States and also would push Cuba harder on democracy and human rights.

In a wide-ranging, hour-long interview, Silva said that as president she would seek bilateral trade deals and better relations with the U.S. and Europe, and would push for improved human rights in allies such as Cuba. 
Asked whether she would continue Brazil's strong investment in and political support for regimes like Cuba, Venezuela, China and Iran, Silva said that dialogue is essential with each — but that her personal convictions mean Brazil would be more vocal in pushing human rights. 
"The best way to help the Cuban people is by understanding that they can make a transition from the current regime to democracy, and that we don't need to cut any type of relations," she said. "It's enough that we help through the diplomatic process, so that these (human rights) values are pursued.
Both of those are nice to hear. Dilma Rousseff has already been smoothing over relations with the U.S., so it appears that U.S.-Brazilians will improve no matter who wins. At least as long as there are no more revelations of counterproductive U.S. behavior.
Further, it is refreshing to hear this about Cuba, which is too rarely heard around Latin America. It is entirely possible to engage a country while also saying it should be more democratic and respect the human rights of its own people. 


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