MEDIA REACTION: HAITI; SAO PAULO
Jan. 19, 2010, 5:08 p.m.
"Brasil and the U.S. in Haiti" Editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (1-19) says: "The initial reaction of Brazilian authorities to the U.S. humanitarian operations in Haiti was nothing less than awkward.... The absolute priority for Haitians is to receive help, with the utmost urgency, regardless of who it comes from. The Brazilian reaction ignored the basic reality, which was clear to President [Ren????] Perval, that no other country had comparable means to help Haiti other than the U.S.....For President Barack Obama the rescue in Haiti is both an act of humanity and an opportunity to show the world what the U.S. is capable of when it dealing with destructive forces.... A teleconference on Sunday...was the first initiative to share the work of managing the Haitian hell.... If it works, the Brasilia-Washington bilateral relationship will have overcome one of the most severe tests in many years." "In the Heart of Darkness" Opinion in liberal Folha de S.Paulo (1-19) states: "No one knows what will become of Haiti once its misery leaves the headlines. Once more there is a great risk that the industry of humanitarian help will serve more the interests of a network of activists and international organizations than the rebuilding of the infrastructure and the building of public services in the country. We've seen this happen before. It is unfortunate, wearisome,and ends poorly." "The Defeat of Victory" Article by columnist Eliane Cantanhede in liberal Folha de S.Paulo (1-19) says: "Truth be said: both [Defense Minister Nelson] Jobim and [Foreign Minister Celso] Amorim asked, several times, for more funds and for a change in the status of the [Minustah] mission from a peace mission (in other words, a police mission) to one of rebuilding the country.... The UN (in other words, the U.S.) never responded." "God and Men" Article by columnist Carlos Heitor Cony in liberal Folha de S.Paulo (1-19) states: "The worst seems to have passed in Haiti, God's work is done.... The U.S. with its financial and military powers has put itself in the role of manager of the tragedy...the attitude upset other countries who have been there for a long time as part of the UN peace mission , including Brazil.... But the vanities, spites and forces that are getting in the way of distributing reinforcements to police a society with no state structure are acts of men." White