Dear Professor Chomsky,
I was glad to read your articles on South America, and I do believe if we really help each other and integrate our realities can be transformed, and that can be done without frontally confronting US power, as even they realize a different, multipolar world has come about. Much is said about a new role of Brazil in world affairs, but I sometimes find it difficult to seperate hype from fact. What in your opinion might be this "New Brazil"? An economic power for sure, and deep sea pre-salt oil reserves (responsibly explored) will be a boom, but how far might our political influence go? Do you think Cuba could see us as a partner in an eventual détente, to repeal american imperialism? Could Brazil be a reference for African countries and the Middle East? A kind of Gentle Giant?
You might like to know that, as we approach the end of Lula's second term (with historical 80% approval), Dilma, the candidate appointed by him (a proven manager in her first elections) has finally outdone the conservative candidate José Serra (minister under Cardoso) in the polls, as people associate her more and more with the president. Strangely enough, two statistical institutes (with ties to the right-wing media) came up with new polls - weeks after one of them detected a 5pp lead for Dilma (PT) - showing a technical draw. Desperation seems to hit the right-wing opposition, as mayors of conservative parties declare support for Dilma, and even powerful media outlet Rede Globo (30% Time-Life) is said to consider abandoning the José Serra (PSDB) boat.
Brazil certainly has exciting potential. For good reasons a century ago it was predicted to be the "colossus of the south," a counterpart (and counterforce) to the colossus of the north. In the past few years it has been taking important steps towards becoming the kind of "Gentle Giant" that you envision. There's a long way to go, needless to say. Brazil has enormous internal problems, and its economy still relies too much on primary product exports. Lots of reasons for hope. And no doubt a lot will depend on the coming election.