Journalist, Washington D.C.
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Dec 17, 2014

Latin America welcomes Obama’s move to restore U.S.-Cuba ties

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Latin American leaders who for years have pressured the United States to drop its economic embargo against Cuba praised President Barack Obama for moving on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations with its communist-run Cold War foe.

Regional leaders said the move and a U.S.-Cuban prisoner swap would further ease an ideological battle that has divided the Americas for decades, even spurring revolutions and dictatorships.

Dec 10, 2014

Brazil dictatorship probe urges prosecuting military, companies

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A “truth commission” investigating abuses during Brazil’s 1964-85 dictatorship called for the prosecution of former military officers and some private companies for their role in human rights atrocities, in a long-awaited report on Wednesday.

The probe’s leaders presented their 2,000-page report to an emotional President Dilma Rousseff, herself a former Marxist militant who was jailed and tortured by the regime in the 1970s.

Dec 10, 2014

Petrobras receives citation in New York class action lawsuit

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s state-controlled oil company
Petroleo Brasileiro SA received a citation on Tuesday
in the class-action lawsuit filed in New York over billions of
dollars in investor losses stemming from an alleged kickback and
bribery scheme.

The citation came from an investor who claims the company,
known as Petrobras, made misleading statements to the market,
the company said in a securities filing.

Dec 10, 2014

Brazil top prosecutor says Petrobras management should go

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s prosecutor-general Rodrigo Janot on Tuesday called for the replacement of state-controlled oil company Petrobras’ top management and punishment of everyone involved in a scheme to funnel kickbacks from contracts to politicians.

Janot made his strongest comments so far on Brazil’s latest corruption scandal as federal prosecutors prepared to indict 11 executives at six of Brazil’s largest civil construction firms for a multibillion-dollar bribe and money-laundering scandal.

Dec 9, 2014

Brazil top prosecutor sees management change over Petrobras scandal

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s top prosecutor called on Tuesday for the punishment of everyone involved in a scheme to funnel kickbacks from contracts with state-run oil firm Petrobras (PETR4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to politicians, and said he expected the company’s management to be replaced.

Rodrigo Janot’s strongest comments so far on Brazil’s latest corruption scandal were made as federal prosecutors prepare to indict 11 executives at six of Brazil’s largest engineering firms for paying billions of dollars in bribes.

Dec 4, 2014

Brazil’s Congress loosens 2014 fiscal goal in bruising vote

BRASILIA (Reuters) – President Dilma Rousseff won a hard-fought victory in Brazil’s Congress early on Thursday with the passage of legislation that frees her administration from complying with its fiscal savings goal for this year.

The amendment to the budget law, approved in a heated 17-hour joint session of Congress, allows her government to deduct infrastructure investments and tax breaks to lower the primary surplus goal to one tenth of its original level.

Dec 1, 2014

Brazil’s Rousseff taps business leader for trade post

BRASILIA, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff named business leader Armando Monteiro on Monday to
head the industry and trade ministry in a new sign of more
market-friendly policies as she tries to restore investor
confidence and reignite economic growth.

Monteiro, an industrialist and senator from the northern
state of Pernambuco, led Brazil’s most powerful business lobby,
the National Industry Confederation, from 2002 to 2010.

Nov 28, 2014

Brazil’s Levy has tough task to mend finances, regain trust

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Incoming finance minister Joaquim Levy faces tough hurdles, including resistance from within the ruling party, as he sets out to restore order to Brazil’s messy public accounts, regain investor confidence and get a stagnant economy moving again.

The fiscal conservative picked by President Dilma Rousseff after her narrow re-election will have to deal with a budget that leaves little room for substantial cuts, and fierce opposition to austerity measures from within the ruling Workers’ Party.

Nov 21, 2014

Brazil’s Rousseff struggling to limit Petrobras scandal’s damage

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA, Nov 21 (Reuters) – President Dilma
Rousseff expects a bribery scandal at state-run oil company
Petrobras to deteriorate in coming months, aides say, with
arrests possible for some political allies and potentially
serious damage to an economy that is already struggling.

Prosecutors say corrupt officials siphoned billions of
dollars from Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company
is formally known, into the coffers of several parties including
Rousseff’s Workers’ Party.

Nov 17, 2014

Brazil’s Rousseff tries to boost U.S. ties but state visit up in the air

BRASILIA, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Dilma
Rousseff, who canceled a White House trip last year in anger
over U.S. spying revelations, now wants to improve ties and
reschedule the state visit – but some U.S. officials warn it
might not be that easy.

A debate in Washington over whether and when to re-extend
the invitation to Rousseff reflects persistent diplomatic
strains between the Americas’ two largest economies, which have
long struggled with different philosophies on trade how to
handle regional flashpoints such as Venezuela and Cuba.