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Posted - 07/28/2002 :  10:02:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Imagine a trip alongside the coast of more than half of South America. Exotic places, different styles, habits and colonization.

This is what the Brazilian coast has to offer you. If somehow you are able to cover the distance by car or by bus, from North to South, you will feel like you have been in at least six or seven countries. Even the language differs! Let's try to show you a bit of this rich culture and wonderful places you have to visit on the Atlantic seaside of Brazil.

Our trip starts in the Brazilian Northern border, near the French Guyana. Everybody in the world knows that Brazil is a big producer of coffee, but few people are aware that everything started from this point on the map.

Nearly two centuries ago, coffee production was restricted to a few regions in the world. France was trying to develop this production in its colonies. At that time, there were some border conflicts between Brazil and French Guyana in the north. An army official, Colonel Francisco de Melo Palheta, was sent to the region to settle down the border, which he did very successfully. While going to Cayenne to sign the agreement, the French Guyana governor's wife fell in love with him - and gave him the first seeds of coffee that were planted in Brazil!

The Brazilian border with French Guyana is located on the Northern State of Amapa. If you start your trip to the south, you will find the foz of Amazon River, near Marajo Island. Marajo is an important cattle-raising center and the foz is known by the pororoca phenomenon - this is the Portuguese name given to the waves formed by the river waters, when reaching the sea. A true spectacle throughout the year.

On the other side of the Amazon River, you will find the city of Belem (the capital of the State of Para). Belem is not known for its beaches, but rather for its handcraft and nice food. Typical dish there is pato no tucupi, a duck cooked in an oil extracted from the Amazon Region.

From Belem, you can take a ship trip to Manaus, in the middle of the forest, through the Amazon River. Simply a traveler's dream!

But where do the good beaches start? We are just around to find them. The next State capital after Belem is São Luis, in the State of Maranhao. Founded by the Portuguese in the 16th Century, São Luis is located on an island and is famous for its colonial architecture and beaches.

A bit further to the east, Fortaleza is the next state capital on the Brazilian seaside. Known by its tropical beaches and lovely people, the capital of the State of Ceara was the origin of a number of folk tales and romance books. Natal, the capital of the State of Rio Grande do Norte, has become a popular place for sport events and honeymooners for similar reasons.

Then we arrive at Joao Pessoa (capital of the Brazilian State of Paraiba), located at the extreme eastern point of the Brazilian seaside. Joao Pessoa claims to be the place where the Sun appears first in Brazil - thus, it will be the first city to see the Sun of the 21st Century! Local government intends to promote tourism to Joao Pessoa by using this calling argument.

Going a bit further, you will reach the two most important cities in the Brazilian Northeast Region: Recife and Salvador. The first is known by the two rivers alongside which the city was built: Capibaribe and Beberibe. It was also the place where the Dutch conquerors installed a local government in the 16th Century, thus giving the city an European air that survives still today. These two factors gave Recife the title of "Brazilian Venice".

Recife's beaches are among the most beautiful of Brazil. Beware! Sharks can be found in some of Recife's open sea beaches. Near Recife there is the city of Olinda - smaller, but as important as Recife in terms of historical buildings. UNESCO has declared Olinda as Cultural Heritage of Mankind.

From Recife, you can take a plane tour to Fernando de Noronha, a paradise island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Fernando de Noronha is a natural resource where dolphins and many fish species can be easily found. A good infra-structure has made the island become one of Brazils most visited places.

Passing through the beaches of Maceio, we reach Salvador, the first Brazilian capital with strong African influence. "Smile, you are in Bahia!", says the outdoor in the airport of Salvador (Bahia is the name of the State of which Salvador is the capital). This phrase best defines the spirit of the region: Salvador is known for its Carnival, merry people, feasts and music.

Salvador has very typical food for you to taste (beware with the pepper!) and a historical center which was also declared Cultural Heritage of Mankind. Its beaches are spread over the open sea and Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints' Bay), where you can take boat trips to islands and other isolated places in the region.

Shortly after Salvador, you will reach Porto Seguro, still in the State of Bahia. This was the place where the Portuguese first reached the Brazilian territory. On April 22, 1500, Pedro Alvares Cabral arrived for the first time in Brazil and declared the land - which he thought was just an island - a Portuguese territory. This is why the place is called Porto Seguro (Safe Harbor, in Portuguese) and big celebrations are planned for April 22, 2000, when the 500th anniversary of Brazilian colonization will take place.

After leaving the State of Bahia, we will go further south to Guarapari (a beach which sand has medical properties and is indicated against many diseases), Vitoria (one of the most important Brazilian ports) and then you arrive at - Brazilian postcard - Rio de Janeiro!

Rio de Janeiro is worth a single article about it. Nicknamed the Wonderful City, Rio has much more than Carnival to offer. Where to start? Worldwide famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, among many others - Barra da Tijuca, Leme, Leblon, Vermelha... Pão de Açúcar (the Sugar Loaf) and Corcovado with the Christ Statue and the view to Baía da Guanabara... Paquetá, an island where autos are forbidden and you can walk freely across the beaches... and many, many other beauties...

From Rio de Janeiro, you can reach Parati, a historical city built in the 17th Century. Parati is a planned city, so its streets are straight and well built. A modern thinking for a town where houses are colonial and streets are made of stones.

But let's go further south. You will pass through Ilhabela, an island alongside the coast of São Paulo known for its beautiful beaches and... lots of mosquitoes! Don't forget your repellent, because the trip is worth it!

Then we arrive at Guarujá, called the "Pearl of the Atlantic Ocean". A nice town with beautiful beaches which suffered with pollution a few years ago. Things got better and Guarujá returned to be one of the favorite places for paulistas to visit during summer. Enseada, Tombo, Pitangueiras, Guaiúba,... all these beaches and many more remain full of tourists not only in the summer, but all the year round.

Take a boat from Guarujá and you will arrive at Santos, the biggest port in Latin America and the hometown of the soccer club where the great Pelé played for most of his career. And from there you reach São Vicente, the first village founded in Brazil back in 1532.

A bit further to the South (from São Vicente, you only need to cross the beautiful Ponte Pênsil, a bridge built almost 100 years ago), you reach the South Coast of the State of São Paulo. Praia Grande is the first town. Formerly a district of São Vicente, Praia Grande has been known for years as the preferred place for one-day tourists (those who come from São Paulo in the morning and return on the same day).

Things have however changed, and Praia Grande developed a lot in the last ten years. It has now progressed and become an important commercial center. From there you can go to Itanhaém, also one of the first towns founded in Brazil, with lots of beautiful beaches like Sonho and Cibratel and many historical buildings.

After crossing Iguape and Ilha Comprida, you arrive at the State of Paraná, with its important port, Paranaguá. Don't forget to take the train trip from Paranaguá to Curitiba, one of the most beautiful (and least-known abroad) views of Brazil.

From Paranaguá you can easily reach the beautiful beaches of Paraná and northern Santa Catarina State: Matinhos, Caiobá and São Francisco do Sul (a historical town in Santa Catarina).

We are now reaching the Northeast side of the State of Santa Catarina, mainly colonized by the Germans. The typical architecture and lifestyle will make you feel as if you were in Europe, especially when you visit Blumenau and Joinville.

A short distance further takes you to Florianopolis, the State capital, with its lagoons, beaches, sand dunes and boat trips. The city is located on an island near the coast and its postcard, like São Vicente, is a metallic bridge (Ponte Hercílio Luz) which was the first link between the island and the continent.

But let's go further to the south, to the historic town of Laguna, to Araranguá and its lighthouse, and to Torres, already in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. The beaches of Torres are known for the high rock towers that can be found along the coast.

From there the road will take you to the State capital, Porto Alegre - no beaches, unfortunately, but from there you can take another road alongside Lagoa dos Patos, the largest lagoon in the South American continent. Right on the extreme end of the lagoon (beside the link to the Atlantic Ocean, we reach the port of Rio Grande, and from there the road will take us to the coast of Uruguay and the country's capital, Montevideo.

From African influence to European immigration - the Brazilian coast proves to be a joining of various countries in a single one. Variety is the keyword: but words cannot describe it in its entirety. For your next summer, include a visit to Brazil and you will personally see how so many cultures can live together, in harmony, under a single flag, a single nation.

Country: USA | Posts: 29

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Posted - 07/29/2002 :  3:03:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It always amazes me that South America is practically in our own back yard however Americans know almost nothng about it. I guess Colombia has given it a pretty bad rap. However, I have always wanted to go to Rio, and run into the girl from Ipanema.....a guy can dream!!

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Posted - 08/04/2002 :  10:31:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Island Girl,
Nice report on the coast of Brazil however you never mentioned anything about nude beaches or if nudity is tolerated by the Brazilians. I know that they practically invented the tiny weeny bikini but how do they accept nude sunbathers on their beaches? As huge as Brazil is and the hundreds of miles of beautiful beach area I would imagine you could find all the secluded areas to enjoy nudity in seclusion but I was looking for areas more like in Spain or Greece.


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Posted - 08/04/2002 :  12:35:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As long as it is a designated Nude Beach/clothing optional there is no problem. Which always amazes me because in Rio they are famous for their barely there bikinis...
The most famous of the nude beaches in Brazil is Praia do Pinho
Less-developed and more pristine than nearby beaches.....
Since there are so many beaches which are basicly private if your the only one there it is widely accepted that one would seek the all over tan.... It seems more and more countries are realizing that clothing optional resorts are big business and draw very well to do patrons. You may see more and more resorts going clothing optional. Look at the success of Hedo in Jamaica.....

Country: USA | Posts: 29 Go to Top of Page

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Posted - 09/17/2002 :  4:27:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heres a cool site to check out if interested....

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Posted - 09/17/2002 :  4:28:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's a new resort that has villas etc on a peninsula on the coast of Brazil. The island is designated an all nude island (by law) and sounds like a great place to go for a change.

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Posted - 09/17/2002 :  4:32:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brazil is the main government. I would have to see in writing where the local law allows for general nudity. Addtionally, it seems as if this resort is not complete according to the webpage.

Doing what I can to positively promote nudism

Edited by - Cheri on 09/17/2002 4:34:43 PM

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Posted - 09/20/2002 :  4:12:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Found some info on Brazil while surfing the net. Heres the official listing....

The sites and beaches

It's official:

Paraíba: Tambaba

Espírito Santo: Barra Seca

Rio de Janeiro: Olho de Boi, Sítio Solar de Guaratiba

São Paulo: Sítio Ibatiporã, Sítio Rincão

Paraná: Fulano de Tal

Santa Catarina: Praia do Pinho, Pedras Altas

It's tolerated:


Pará: Ajiruteua

Ceará: Canoa Quebrada, Jericoacoara, Cumbuco, Batoque

Rio Grande do Norte: Malembar

Fernando de Noronha: Americano

Pernambuco: Ilha Amores

Bahia: Artistas, Trancoso, Pitinga, Coroa Vermelha, Forte


Rio de Janeiro: Brava, Virgem, Focas, Maçambaba, Parati Mirim, Fig. Trindade, Ilha do Pelado, Ilha do Ventura, Praia Seca, Adão e Eva, Lagoa Grande, Farolito, Jaconé,

São Paulo: Brava

Santa Catarina: Galhetas

Rio Grande do Sul: Dunas

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Posted - 09/20/2002 :  5:49:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
>It's tolerated

Does not equal legal.

Doing what I can to positively promote nudism

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Posted - 10/23/2002 :  2:00:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all your input, Brasil's beaches are beautiful especially the further north you go (Fortaleza). I travel to Brasil on business frequently but am unfortunately confined to mainstream cities, Rio, Sao Paulo, Brasillia and Porto Alegre. FYI..Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon are world famous but all sunworshipers don full suits.....skimpy to say the least and man are they ever tanned...and buff. The only topless women you'll see are european tourists or prostitutes and that is very rare. Good advice to go with sanctioned groups, guides or resorts becuase of the crime in certain areas if you wander off the beaten path.

Tchau baby!!

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Posted - 02/11/2003 :  11:07:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
BRAZZIL - News from Brazil - Brazilian nudism and naked people in Brazil

No Shame

As Adam and Eve in Paradise, many Brazilians are opting for the naked look and feeling no guilty or blush for that. There are no more than 100,000 nudists in the country, but this number is rapidly increasing.
Reinaldo D'Amico

Going nude in public is at the very least embarrassing for many. But for some Brazilians accustomed to the practice, the naturistas, going about in the buff has become second nature. An increasing number of them has been joining the practice that has now fans all over the country. There are places for nudist gatherings in at least 13 states of the federation.

For them, being in the nude is even more natural than going about with clothes on. Some take their clothes off only when they're at home alone, listening to music or cleaning house. For others the fibers come off at beaches and colonies before dozens of people both known and unknown alike.

The nudist movement is now organized and monitored by the FBN (Federaçao Brasileira de Naturismo Brazilian Federation of Naturism). Brazilians have even a specialized magazine on the subject. It's Naturis, a publication from Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul.

The best known nudist camp in Brazil is the Praia do Pinho, in Camboriú, in the southern state of Santa Catarina. It was the first beach to be officially sanctioned for nudism in 1987 and today plays host to nudists from all over Brazil as well as foreign countries. At Pinho beach the only clothing allowed is no clothing.

The same happens at Pedras Altas (Santa Catarina) and Barra Seca (Espírito Santo). Some of the other naturist areas and here there is room for those who want to bare themselves little by little are Tambaba in the municipality of Conde in Paraíba, Olho de Boi in Búzios (Rio de Janeiro), and Abricó, also in Rio. There are still three dozen other beaches in which the practice is tolerated. Among them Brava in Cabo Frio (Rio) and Trancoso in Bahia.

Just recently Brasília, which doesn't have a sea beach, started its own nudist association renting a club for their members' favorite sport. The First District Federal Naturist Encounter brought together 25 adults and children. Until then Brasilienses willing to take it all off in public had to go to other cities. "Now we don't have to travel 1,000 miles to Praia do Pinho, anymore," rejoiced one of the participants in the get-together, an employee at a foreign embassy.

How many are the Brazilian naturists? Around 100,000 according to FBN estimates. A very small number for a country famous for its sexual liberation and veneration for the naked body. France, which has 1/3 of the Brazil's population and no tropical weather, is home for 10 million naturists. The Federation, however, believes that the number of nudists will soon increase to 1 million thanks to word of mouth of those who are now fans of going on the buff.

Says Celso Rossi, founder and president of the FBN, "People are discovering that nudism is a respectable and pleasurable practice, and those who try it for the first time don't want to even think about wearing clothes afterwards".

Today Brazilians of all ages and backgrounds practice nudism. Roger Moreira, a guitarist with the Brazilian musical group Ultraje a Rigor and also a nudist even wrote a song exalting the virtues of the practice. Although not a card-carrying naturist he often frequents many of the nude beaches throughout the country. "I like being nude at the beaches, it's a good alternative to the rat race in Sao Paulo," says Moreira.

Even though the idea of nudism doesn't appeal to most people, in a nudist setting it's seen as something normal to be done without shame. Said 42-year old Roberto Pimentel Faro, a nudist since 1988, in an interview to the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo: "Nudism is outside of all established social standards, yet we've cultivated an attitude of acceptance with regard to other people's bodies that allows us to coexist without problems."

For many nudists, staying dressed is something to do only on cold days. "The only precaution we take is in regards to voyeurs. We always keep our curtains closed," says one nudist who has two daughters. For another couple whom we'll call Francisco and Ana, there's no hesitation at taking their clothes off, especially on hot days. But when company comes it's strictly dress up time. However there have been times when they've been caught off guard. Says Francisco laughingly, "My mother-in-law showed up once and I was dressed in just a T-shirt."

Marília, her husband Marcos and their two adolescent daughters have been practicing nudism since 1990 when they started to frequent Praia do Pinho. At home, the couple and their daughters don't see any reason to hide their bodies from one another or their friends. "We are so accustomed to it it's as if we had our clothes on," says Marcos. Adds Marília, "we take our clothes off when it gets hot, but in the winter when it's cold we wear them because they protect us."

Marcos professes that the practice has changed his outlook on life: "I was a very tense and uptight person before and would fly off the handle at the slightest thing," he says, but the change in him was so radical that everyone wanted to know what his secret was. Finally after coming in to work extremely relaxed two weeks straight one of his co-workers insisted he divulge his secret. When he told her the truth she was shocked, he says. "But afterwards she accepted it," he added.

Even Paulistas who are better known for their work ethics and little play are joining in the fun. Sao Paulo offers at least three places where naturists can congregate. One is the Rincao Estância Naturista e Ecológica in the city of Guaratinguetá. Inaugurated in August of 1993, it sits on an old fazenda some 220 kilometers away from Sao Paulo with space enough to accommodate 150 people and room for camping as well. The group that frequents this club is fairly large and the parties and reunions held by them are usually memorable.

Recalls one member, "Once our group planned a visit to Parati in the south of the state of Rio, everything went well but we all noticed one small detail, no one brought a bathing suit," he says. "I think the locals thought we were all from the countryside," he added, "but we didn't need them," he said laughingly.

Not everyone is welcome here, however. Says Alexandre a delegate to the Brazilian Federation of Naturism and owner of the Rincao: "Unaccompanied single men aren't allowed in." At another site called Ibatipora in the region of Sorocaba, Eduardo Prado plays host to nudists from all over. At 69 years old, and a practicing nudist for 50 of those years, he says, "We don't have parties and other activities like the Rincao, people who come here come to relax."


Federaçao Brasileira de Naturismo Caixa Postal 328, Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul 95670-000. Phone: (054) 282-1907. It also publishes Naturis Magazine.

Difenat Núcleo Naturista do Distrito Federal Caixa Postal 8868, Brasília, DF, 70312-970

Associaçao Amigos da Praia do Pinho Caixa Postal 272, Balneário Camboriú, Santa Catarina , 88330-000

Clube Naturista Pedras Altas Ave. Atlântica 860, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, 88095-070.

Rionat Caixa Postal 136, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 20001-970

Núcleo Naturista de Sao Paulo Caixa Postal 65.125, Sao Paulo, SP, 01390-970

Núcleo Naturista do Nordeste Caixa Postal 4.067, Recife, Pernambuco, 51021-970

Congregaçao Naturista do Espírito Santo Caixa Postal 01-0607, Vitória, Espírito Santo, 29001-970

Núcleo Paranaense de Naturismo Caixa Postal 4.934, Curitiba, Paraná, 82520-970

Núcleo Naturista do Pará Caixa Postal 474, Belém, Pará, 66017-970

Rincao Estância Naturista e Ecológica (0125) 27-1142.

The sites and beaches

It's official

Paraíba: Tambaba

Espírito Santo: Barra Seca

Rio de Janeiro: Olho de Boi, Sítio Solar de Guaratiba

Sao Paulo: Sítio Ibatipora, Sítio Rincao

Paraná: Fulano de Tal

Santa Catarina: Praia do Pinho, Pedras Altas

It's tolerated


Pará: Ajiruteua

Ceará: Canoa Quebrada, Jericoacoara, Cumbuco, Batoque

Rio Grande do Norte: Malembar

Fernando de Noronha: Americano

Pernambuco: Ilha Amores

Bahia: Artistas, Trancoso, Pitinga, Coroa Vermelha, Forte


Rio de Janeiro: Brava, Virgem, Focas, Maçambaba, Parati Mirim, Fig. Trindade, Ilha do Pelado, Ilha do Ventura, Praia Seca, Adao e Eva, Lagoa Grande, Farolito, Jaconé,

Sao Paulo: Brava

Santa Catarina: Galhetas

Rio Grande do Sul: Dunas

Country: USA | Posts: 1695 Go to Top of Page

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Posted - 03/21/2003 :  6:50:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is some in-depth insight into Brazil's economy and its position in the world situation:

Brazzil - Nation, April 2003
Brazil, a Nation at Peace
The days leading into a unilateral Anglo-American invasion of Iraq seem to be numbered. Brazil is just one among scores of nations solidly united against the American aggression, and deeply wary of the harm it will bring to the Middle East and to emerging markets the world over.
Norman Madarasz

Lula da Silva, Brazil's President, is a man of peace. Such resolve has never weakened his drive to fight for social change and justice. Fate has decided that his country would neither be a permanent nor a temporary member of the United Nations Security Council during these most trying times of political wheeling and dealing.

There is little consensus, however, over whether this is a blessing for Brazil. For no less than belligerence, pacifism may prove to have long term economic costs.

Taking both imports and exports together, Brazil's main trading partner is the US. In 2002, 24 percent of Brazil's production headed north, while 23 percent of its imports came from the US. Due to the debt it has contracted with the International Monetary Fund, Brazil's currency is hedged against the American dollar. Meanwhile, the European Union is Brazil's most consistent export market, covering close to 30 percent of output. With the dollar's recent slide in value, the Euro has become even more attractive or foreboding—depending on which side of the trade relation you sit. With respect to either of these zones, Brazil's trading activity amounts to only a sliver of its potential.

It is only a matter of course, then, for the country's new government, run by a labor conscious coalition of trade unionists, leftwing intellectuals and conservative businessmen to favor clearer trade regulations with both the US and EU. Yet last year, the US slapped bitter tariffs on steel imports in its different manufactured forms. Brazil is a leading exporter of high-grade iron-ore pellets and slabs, both central to manufacturing steel. US congressmen from trade-sensitive areas are well aware of Brazil's potential. Only congratulations greeted Bush's facile protectionist solution to the ailing American conventional steel sector, once a pillar of American industry.

Steel wasn't enough to snub the international free-trade disciplines of the Washington Consensus. The Bush administration also decided to ape what has been the common policy of the EU, led in that regard mainly by France, by applying massive subsidies on agricultural imports. With its God-given climate, Brazil's agriculture and livestock industry produce some of the most succulent fruit and vegetables to be found anywhere on the planet. Its orange juice has no need for Sunkist manufacturing techniques, as its citrus has been blessed by nature's over-abundant warmth. Brazil's cattle graze outdoors year-round and taste as close to famed Argentine beef as its own southern pampas allow. But neither oranges, juice, nor beef make it into North American Free Trade Zone (NAFTA) without tariffs hoisting prices a fifth higher—and straight out of the competitive range.

Were Free Trade and Open Markets actually to refer to a state of reality, instead of a Wolfowitzian ideological veil for democratic imperialism, few would be more faithful adherents to its principles than Brazilians. Supply and demand are the driving force of their traders and industrialists with national governments only too willing to leave the floor to business. So when there is international conflict, and where there is a real market, one may also find the Brazilian business class showing the smarts of circumvention.

Brazilian-Arab Trade

The Brazilian-Arab Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) delivered a study to the Minister of Development, Luiz Fernando Furlan, last month in which it claimed that exports to Arab countries could leap by 270 percent by 2006. In 2002, sales from Brazil to the 22 Arab countries registered at US$ 2 .6 billion. It was a 16 percent increase over 2001. According to the CCAB's study, this figure could reach US$ 7 billion within four years.

The sectors meant to profit most from the boost are machinery and equipment, aviation, services, defense material, banking, tourism, industry and agro-business. Crude oil is the commodity most in the spotlight. Over the last two decades, South America has grown to be a major oil producer. Venezuela, for instance, has been the second oil-supplier to the US after Saudi Arabia, and fourth largest in the world. By September 2002, Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras, had broken another monthly record, reaching the average of 1.59 million barrels a day. The country is Latin-America's third major oil-producer, after Venezuela and Mexico. In light of this progress, the CCAB is advocating the creation of a South American OPEC, which would work in partnership with Arab countries in the areas of production, refineries and petrochemistry.

A pacifist nation hedges its politics against trade especially when it slides as a world economic power. Brazil's GDP hovered 9th globally four years ago as it had for over a decade. Last year, after two slow years of growth and the slashing of its currency value by a half, Brazil now rests as the 12th economic power, falling below South Korea. According to the president of the CCAB, Paulo Sergio Atallah, the perspective of a war between the US and Iraq is one of the main reasons for the increased partnership between Brazil and the Middle East. Most attractive in the Arab market is the region's low import tariffs, ranging at roughly 5 percent.

In a country as paradisiacal as Brazil, it is interesting to note that the Arab world holds the title for exoticism. Brazil's large "Syro-Lebanese" population is the silent fourth leaf to the national phenomenon of "miscegenation", or admixture of Indian, Portuguese and African peoples. The three-border region at the Falls of Iguacu, between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, has moreover drawn the interest of the CIA and New York Times for the doings of its large and prominent Arab immigrant population. Still, Brazil remains one of the few countries in the world where the Jewish, Muslim and Christian descendants of the Middle East continue to practice harmonious relations. Dialogue and common public declarations are set on a tone familiar to the Middle East at least before the Six-Day War, or no later than the Nakbah.

Celebrating the Arab World

Indeed, during a time of fierce anti-Arab backlash in the mass media of the USA, often indistinguishable from explicit racism, Brazil's major television channel, Globo, celebrated the Maghreb in one of their famous novela soap-operas called The Clone in 2001-2002. As hundreds of innocent Arabs were imprisoned in the USA and stripped of their legal rights, Brazilians were awash in belly-dancing ecstasy, Muslim weddings, citations from the Koran, and the exotic scenery of Fez as Jade, the series' protagonist, sought to leave her husband, Said, in order to rejoin her teenage love, Lucas—or the clone made of his identical twin, Leo, to her utter ignorance. The series won not only ratings success, but it also reaped numerous prizes in recognition of its social role in fighting racism and discussing drug abuse.

The Moroccan veil, foreign music CD stalls replete with belly-dancing music, and common Arab words and expressions eerily brought back Portugal's own Muslim past, meshed in with the splendor of the Andalousian civilization until the 12th century.

Despite such cultural and climatic resemblance, Brazil's position regarding the American war on Iraq is becoming increasingly tested. Lula has clearly voiced his position against war in general, and any unilateral American-British attack and invasion. Brazil voted in favor of UN Resolution 1441. And one of its key international diplomats, now ambassador to the UK, had led the United Nations Agency for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, one of whose stated goals was to rally Iraq to become a full-fledged member—and abide by the Agency's inspections criteria.

Yet as the US has failed its bid to maintain allies, let alone to assemble a majority to carry a new resolution to wage war, Brazil's reasonable and rational calls for peace have begun to weigh heavily. Its international political analysts have begun putting the government on guard regarding the consequences of a too-vocal opposition. These voices lead all the way back to former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He is reported to have cautioned President Lula about forging too close an alliance with France on the conflict.

The country's economy has been buoyant despite massive speculation on the currency and outflow of capital in the uncertainty of the run-up to Lula's election. The export sector has been the one to bring in vitally needed foreign capital, helping companies reimbursed their private debt to government, and in turn allow the government to service its massive debt to the IMF, amounting to some 65 percent of GDP.

Development Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan estimates exports to grow by 10 percent this year, after setting a historical record for the country in 2002. The business sector is less optimistic. With high energy costs and costly technological imports, Brazilian industries are estimated to be working at only 85 percent capacity. For the time being, though, no one is contesting the record US$ 2.079 billion dollar trade surplus.

A weaker currency does have its drawing points for industry. What taxes Brazilian's economy from within, however, is the sky-high cost of borrowing money. The prime lending rate was increased two weeks ago to 26.5 percent, after Lula had vowed to dramatically lower it. He has allowed his Vice-President, Jose Alencar, to criticize the suffocating effects of the rate on local business, and Minister Furlan has projected a drop in interest rates in the second half of the year. In the meantime, the CCAB is clearly aiming at benefiting from the changing cultural tides affecting the Middle East as a whole. Neither Europe, nor the US should have a monopoly over the emerging markets when their macropolitical policies are so harmful to the developing world.

The days leading into a unilateral Anglo-American invasion of Iraq seem to be numbered. Secretary of State Colin Powell's potential opposition seems to have completely been undermined by the administration as it has made him into the leading spokesman for the doctrines of his rival, Paul Wolfowitz. On March 10, Lula reiterated his opposition to war on Iraq. He gave his most sincere position when speaking in the São Paulo automobile-industry heavy "ABC" region. To a crowd of thousands, whom he once led as a union leader, Lula declared himself against the war. "Common people and humanity care more about education, health, food and peace than a war that will only bring damage to the poorest part of the world."

One can rest assured that this is no minority view of a trade-union leader. Lula is the living voice of the Brazilian people and nation. And Brazil is just one among scores of nations solidly united against the aggression, and deeply wary of the harm it will bring to the region and to emerging markets the world over. It is also one of the rare governments in the world today—the democratic world—that represents the will of its people, at least on this matter.

Canadian philosopher, Norman Madarasz, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Paris. He currently lives in Rio de Janeiro, from where he writes on philosophy and international political and economic relations. He welcomes comments at

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New Member

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  6:57:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Back on the subject of nudism in Brazil, does anyone know if there are any options for nudist holidays in the Amazon bason?
There used to be a resort called the Amazonat, but I think that has now gone textile.

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Posted - 06/27/2003 :  1:14:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We understand that Amazonat still operates as a clothing optional resort at least part of the year. There are many beaches available for naturist use along the Rio Negro and Amazon rivers north and west of the city of Manaus.

Questions regarding Amazonat may be directed to:
Amazonat Jungle Resort
Palm Harbor Executive Center
2678 Westlake Rd.
Palm Harbor, Florida 34684
(800) 432-3471
(727) 786-1862

Notice: This moderator, operating under username 'Moderator', has been terminated for repeatedly censoring or altering posts without providing a clear indication of which policy was being enforced. Her actions were not sanctioned by this organization.

Edited by - Moderator on 06/27/2003 5:47:39 PM

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Posted - 06/27/2003 :  11:28:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Subj: Re: Question
Date: 6/27/2003 15:17:14 E. South America Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

I'm sorry but the Amazonat resort is not clothing optional at anytime of the year now.
Caribbean Hideaways

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Forum Member

Posted - 07/07/2003 :  7:14:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Isn't Brazil where the "Girl from Ipanema" was at? I understand that some of the most beautiful people in the world are in Brazil.

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