Brazil protests are not like those in Turkey, FM says
Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota speaks at a press conference in Antigua Guatemala, about 50 km southwest of Guatemala City, on June 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Johan ORDONEZAfter over a week of protests - the largest to sweep Brazil in more than two decades - that continued in major capitals and moved to smaller cities, Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota answered questions from the veteran CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday in an exclusive interview.
The foreign minister said he did not think his country would see the type of violence and confrontation that Turkey has seen in the past weeks.
“I think it’s a different situation; the manifestations have been peaceful, predominately,” Antonio Patriota said.
Amanpour then asked Patriota that if this was the case, why had the federal riot police been sent to five major cities.
“There may be episodes of violence here and there and, of course, the security forces have to be prepared because there are large numbers of people involved,” Patriota told Amanpour. “And our expectation is that they will continue to manifest in a peaceful way.”
Echoing statements from President Dilma Rousseff, the foreign minister said in a calm tone that Brazil is a stronger country because of the protests, and that these demonstrations are all part of the democratic process.
“Her government has lifted millions out of the poverty and joined the middle class,” he said of the administrations of Rousseff and former President Lula da Silva. “And it’s natural that rising living conditions should give rise to higher expectations.”
Rousseff on Tuesday sought to defuse a massive protest movement sweeping Brazil, acknowledging the need for better public services and more responsive governance as demonstrations continued in some cities around the country.
"Brazil woke up stronger today," Rousseff said in a televised speech in Brasilia. "The size of yesterday's [June 17] demonstrations shows the energy of our democracy, the strength of the voice of the streets and the civility of our population."