Monday, November 15, 2010

Brazil Envy/Admiration

One of the dominant sentiments among Mexican elites in recent years is, Why can't we be like Brazil? You see it in the disappointment at being excluded from the BRIC grouping, the envy over the Olympics and the World Cup, and the admiration for Lula's place in the world. You also see it in this article, which reports that a handful of Mexican political heavyweights (Manlio Fabio Beltrones among them) received a lesson in carving out a development strategy from Roberto Mangabeira, the former minister of strategic affairs under Lula. Evidently, the Mexicans visited with Mangabeira while at Harvard. Who knows if in reality it was a seminar in which the wise Brazilian was dispensing advice, or if it was just an idea session, but the fact that El Universal would come away with an article titled, "Mexico adopts the 'Brazilian recipe'" demonstrates the force of Brazil envy among a certain segment of Mexican elites, either among the politicians or the journalists who cover them, or both.

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