In 1992, leaders of many countries gathered in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, to discuss mutual post-Cold War cooperation for international development. Environmental issues were the main topic.
In his speech at that meeting, Fidel Castro warned about the destruction of the Amazon forest. Fidel pointed out that a society based on consumerism is the fundamental culprit, and that it is geared by the old colonial metropolis and the imperialist policies that generated the poverty and underdevelopment that assails the vast majority of humankind. He also questioned what — without the supposed threat of communism and therefore without the pretext for the cold war — what is impeding the rich and developed nations from investing all the resources spent on weapons, to be spent instead on the development of the Third World, with policies that will end hunger, poverty and the ecological destruction of the planet?
The recent fires in the Brazilian part of the Amazon forest are just the latest and biggest blow to the “Green Giant.” After seeing video footage on TV,on social media and on various websites across the globe, people from all parts of the earth have reacted.
All are wondering, how could this be happening on such a large scale? Who is behind it? Why has the Brazilian government been silent about the Amazon rainforest fires since late July and not doing anything concrete to extinguish them?
The silence is due to the government’s, although indirect, participation in it. During his presidential campaign, Jair Bolsonaro spoke many times about the necessity to deregulate, loosen and/or simply end many of the laws and regulations that hindered the exploitation of the Amazon.
To the second question, the answer is that it simply does not want to. It wants to let the rainforest burn as much as possible because that is the wish of the big bosses of the agro, meat and mineral businesses. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef, soybeans, coffee and sugar. It is also one of the biggest exporters of minerals in their natural form.
In a capitalist economy, such rich and powerful industries gain a lot of control over policymaking decisions. Brazil is no different.
With all the money they have, the agro-cattle business developed the most powerful lobby in the history of the Brazilian Congress: the Rural Lobby or Bancada Ruralista in Portuguese. Among the main goals of the Rural Lobby are the forgiveness of the debts incurred by the farmers, the expansion of arable lands and the end of demarcation of Indigenous people`s land, as it consists of one of the main obstacles to the expansion of their business….