SocraticGadfly: Brazil wants to join OPEC

May 18, 2008

Brazil wants to join OPEC

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told Spiegel (English-language international version) that the discovery of possibly major offshore oil deposits qualifies it for membership.

Oil and OPEC
We discovered immense oil reserves 273 kilometers (170 miles) off the coast, at a depth of 2,140 meters (7,021 feet) and under a 5,000-meter (16,404-foot) layer of salt and rock. We have the know-how to exploit these reserves. We expect to start test-drilling in March and start producing oil in 2010. Then Brazil will become a major oil exporter. We want to join OPEC and try to make oil cheaper.

Lulu talked on several other issues, too:
I have always told my European friends that it isn’t worth restructuring their well-organized agricultural systems to produce biofuel. We, and the Africans, can do a much better job of it. The European Union should give the Third World a chance to produce biofuel.

The Amazon region isn’t very well suited for cattle pastureland. And the soil isn't good for sugarcane or soybeans either. … We have tightened our controls. Deforestation has declined by almost 60 percent in Brazil. But more than 22 million people live in the Amazon region. They too want to eat, drive cars and use refrigerators.

The Latin American left and Columbian rebels
The left in South America still uses the same slogans as the European left did in the 1920s and 1930s. Politicians take a more radical position in places where there is hunger, and where people have no access to education. This continent was churned up by military coups. Guerrilla groups were still active in many countries only 20 years ago. Today we all agree — with the exception of FARC in Colombia — that elections are the only legitimate way to acquire power.

Read the whole thing; it’s a great interview.

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