The Man Behind Brazil's Economic Boom: Fmr President Cardoso

Uploaded by PBSNewsHour on 30.07.2012

bjbj"9"9 JUDY WOODRUFF: Next, charting the rise of Brazil as a new and growing power
on the global stage. Jeffrey Brown profiles one of the men who helped build it. JEFFREY
BROWN: Yes, Brazil is still a soccer power. And, yes, it's still famous for its music
and Carnival. But, today, Brazil is something much more. A nation of 200 million, it's now
the world's sixth largest economy, an energy giant with a booming manufacturing sector
and growing middle class, in short, an economic and democratic power very much on the rise,
and decidedly not the nation Fernando Henrique Cardoso was born into. FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO,
Former Brazilian President: When I was born in 1931, Brazil had only one paved route linking
Rio with one of the province... (CROSSTALK) JEFFREY BROWN: One paved route? FERNANDO HENRIQUE
CARDOSO: One, just one. Brazil was quite apart from the world. It was quite isolated from
the core. As you said, we were considered at the periphery, the poor periphery of the
world. JEFFREY BROWN: Cardoso, now 81, would become one of the chief architects of Brazil's
rise, as both as a scholar -- he was first a leading thinker on issues of race and development
and has authored or co-written more than 30 books -- and then as a political figure serving
as the country's finance minister and then as president for two terms from 1995 to 2002.
He oversaw the elimination of runaway inflation, opened up markets and instituted social programs
that helped launch the country on its present path. FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO: Why should
we condemned to be stagnant, underdeveloped country? I think this is not realistic. It
will be possible to promote policies to implement a better economy and to move up the Brazilian
economy and to become much more part of the global system. JAMES BILLINGTON, Librarian
of Congress: Fernando Henrique Cardoso. JEFFREY BROWN: It was this rare combination of scholar
and politician that the U.S. library of Congress cited recently in awarding Cardoso the prestigious
Kluge Prize, which the Library likens to a Nobel for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
And, indeed, Cardoso says he started out as a young sociologist in the 1960s with ambitious
goals. FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO: I would like to change the world, or if not the world,
at least to improve the Brazilian situation. JEFFREY BROWN: His early research helped explode
myths on a subject as thorny in Brazil as it in the U.S.: race. FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO:
The idea was officially that Brazil could be qualified as a racial democracy. Well,
it was a myth. We had racial prejudice. We never had, by law, segregation, but Brazil
imported 10 times more slaves than America. So we have an enormous population of black
people. But the idea of democracy, racial democracy, was simultaneously a myth and an
aspiration. Brazil society, they would have a more democratic kind of relationship between
blacks and whites. And step by step, we are building up a more open society, a more flexible
and more -- also more democratic with respect to race relations. JEFFREY BROWN: The other
part of your scholarship that gained you so much was challenging this idea that Brazil
would always be a dependent nation, it would always be on the outside. FERNANDO HENRIQUE
CARDOSO: Yes. JEFFREY BROWN: What did you see that made you want to challenge that idea?
FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO: To me, it was clear that there is an enormous difference within
the periphery. And countries like Brazil or Argentina or Mexico, we're already become
industrialized. And they were establishing ties with global markets. You see, I had no
idea. This was in the '60s. I had no idea of what was really occurring, the globalization
process. We have no words. JEFFREY BROWN: So the issue is how does a country like Brazil
find its way in this globalizing market? FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO: Yes. That's right. That's
right. That was the main question, how to keep going democracy, more freedom, capacity
of people to organize and also to respect contracts, to increase investment, to have
good governance. JEFFREY BROWN: Brazil's lack of democracy, in fact, led to the turning
point in Cardoso's life. Military dictatorships forced him first into exile and then returning
to Brazil to lose his academic position. By the 1970s, he had grown more politically active,
eventually becoming what he likes to term an accidental president. Cardoso left the
presidency in 2002, prevented by law from seeking a third term. Victory by Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva marked an important moment for Brazilian democracy, the first time in more
than 40 years that one elected civilian president passed power to another. Lula, though leading
a rival and more leftist party, kept many of Cardoso's policies and reforms in place,
as has his successor, the current president, Dilma Rousseff. Today, Cardoso sees continuing
challenges and problems for his country, but also much progress. FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO:
If I look back when I remember I was a child in Rio, on Copacabana Beach, in Rio, but also
a very backward country. And now I can see a much more dynamic society in Brazil. And
now we have democracy. Now we have people asking for more. Now we have protests. Now
we have the free press. Now we have universities. Now we have contacts across the globe. My
God, it was an enormous progress. JEFFREY BROWN: Fernando Henrique Cardoso, thank you
for talking to us. FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO: Well, thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: And another
symbol of Brazil's progress, it is scheduled to host the soccer World Cup in 2014 and the
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