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Yes, that's what it sounds like. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says that if "gringos" (non-South Americans) want Brazil to stop logging companies from decimating his country's rain forests, they will have to pay him off. At an environmental summit meeting he held that a lot of nations snubbed, he said, "I don't want any gringo asking us to let an Amazon resident die of hunger under a tree... We want to preserve, but they will have to pay the price for this preservation because we never destroyed our forest like they mowed theirs down a century ago." His intention may have been to impress upon the wealthier nations that Brazil's destructive industries would be more inclined to cut down on cutting down if they were compensated, but saying that he wasn't going to stop them without funding makes him sound like a gangster.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Actually, it makes a lot of sense to me. Brazil depends on its industry to survive and thrive, just like any other country. And here come these big outsiders complaining that its industry is hurting them, even though it's all happening inside his own country. From an industrial perspective, and from the perspective of national sovreignty, those other nations can and should go stuff it, and that's what he's telling them. No one wants to tell their own people that they have to suffer because someone else's nation doesn't like what they're doing in their own borders, and until we can peacefully erase borders, the rainforests really won't belong to the rest of the world, no matter how much we benefit from them. And until we (that is, the gringo nations who want to preserve those forests) actually purchase them, we will continue to have no right to tell them how to manage them.

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