Hotel Trópico: Brazil and the Challenge of African by Jerry Dávila

By Jerry Dávila

In the wake of African decolonization, Brazil tried to forge connections with newly self reliant international locations. within the early Nineteen Sixties it introduced an attempt to set up diplomatic ties with Africa; within the Nineteen Seventies it undertook exchange campaigns to open African markets to Brazilian expertise. Hotel Trópico finds the perceptions, relatively relating to race, of the diplomats and intellectuals who traveled to Africa on Brazil’s behalf. Jerry Dávila analyzes how their activities have been formed through rules of Brazil as an rising international energy, able to extend its sphere of impression; of Africa because the ordinary position to claim that impression, given its old slave-trade ties to Brazil; and of twentieth-century Brazil as a “racial democracy,” a uniquely harmonious mixture of races and cultures. whereas the stories of Brazilian policymakers and diplomats in Africa mirrored the common sense of racial democracy, in addition they uncovered ruptures during this interpretation of Brazilian id. Did Brazil proportion a “lusotropical” identification with Portugal and its African colonies, in order that it was once guaranteed to aid Portuguese colonialism on the rate of Brazil’s ties with African countries? Or was once Brazil a rustic of “Africans of each color,” pressured to help decolonization in its function as a normal chief within the South Atlantic? Drawing on interviews with retired Brazilian diplomats and intellectuals, Dávila indicates the Brazilian trust in racial democracy to be approximately not just race but in addition Portuguese ethnicity.

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I told him that Prof. Salazar would agree: his ideas coincide with our own. I wrote back turning down the idea, but he insisted. ”47 Freyre’s remarks are curious, given that he had long been critical of Vargas. But what they show is that Freyre relished being an intermediary between the Portuguese and Brazilian heads of state. ” Vargas and Salazar negotiated the Friendship and Consultation Treaty of 1953, by which both governments agreed to consult on international matters. The treaty was an umbrella for a series of smaller agreements over the next twenty years that extended economic and political privileges to Portuguese immigrants in Brazil and reduced barriers to the tiny amount of commerce between the two countries.

Quadros’s Independent Foreign Policy distanced Brazil from its automatic alignment with the United States and Portugal. It defined Brazil as a leader of the developing world rather than a follower of the United States, indulging Brazilian aspirations to become a world power. It also involved pursuing markets for Brazilian manufactures in places like China. Quadros’s Independent Foreign Policy was similar to other expressions of midcentury developmentalist nationalism advanced by Jawaharlal Nehru in India, Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, Josef Tito in Yugoslavia, and Juan Per—n in Argentina.

It defined Brazil as a leader of the developing world rather than a follower of the United States, indulging Brazilian aspirations to become a world power. It also involved pursuing markets for Brazilian manufactures in places like China. Quadros’s Independent Foreign Policy was similar to other expressions of midcentury developmentalist nationalism advanced by Jawaharlal Nehru in India, Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, Josef Tito in Yugoslavia, and Juan Per—n in Argentina. The political scientist Wayne Selcher notes the change implied in Quadros’s new policy: during the presidential campaign of 1960 Quadros visited Cuba, and in the months before his inauguration he traveled to the Soviet Union, the United Arab Republic, Yugoslavia, India, and Japan.

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