Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Yes John, Even Communist Brazil Has RINOs!


Brazil Has No Land Barons, New Agriculture Minister Says

BRASILIA – Brazil is not a nation of land barons, new Agriculture Minister Katia Abreu says in an interview published Monday by Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, despite figures showing that 1 percent of farmers hold nearly half the arable land.

“The large estates no longer exist,” the former senator said as she argued for scaling back an agrarian reform program that peasant organizations already regard as inadequate.

Instead of a “massive” program, the government should concentrate on providing high-quality land to peasants who have a “vocation” for work, Abreu said.

The 52-year-old rancher became agriculture minister on Jan. 1, hours after President Dilma Rousseff began her second term.

Rousseff, who leads the center-left Workers Party, has faced criticism from traditional allies over her appointment of Abreu, a member of a conservative party within the governing coalition.

While the MST Landless Workers views Abreu as an enemy because of her hostility to agrarian reform, environmentalists dubbed her the “Chainsaw Queen” for her efforts in Congress to weaken legislation protecting the Amazon rainforest.

The new minister told Folha de Sao Paulo that she hopes for dialogue with peasant organizations, though she will continue to denounce the MST for its tactic of occupying farms or government offices to press for land reform.

Abreu also reiterated her support for a controversial bill that would give Congress authority over the boundaries of indigenous reservations.

Representatives of Brazil’s indigenous peoples don’t want those decisions left up to Congress, where landowners and agri-business enjoy enormous clout due to the presence of blocs of sympathetic lawmakers such as the one Abreu led when she was in the Senate.


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