The 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, a city of great contrasts. A rich city where golden beaches skirt lush mountains, millions of tourists from around the world visit Rio every year.
Not far from the beaches and hotels is another side of Rio. Concentrated areas of ‘favelas’ or shantytowns where the poor and forgotten people of Brazil call home. Crime is rampant, ‘feral’ children live off garbage, and drugs are everywhere. Several years ago there were news reports about police shooting and killing groups of feral children. It made my skin crawl.
With an attitude of “out of sight, out of mind,” Brazil has been building 10 ft. high concrete walls around the favelas to keep the shantytowns from spreading any closer to the world-famous tourist destination.
President Lula’s main focus, of course, is on the country’s oil company, Petrobras. The Brazilian government owns 55.7% of the company that is the leader in deep water oil drilling. George Soros’ hedge fund has a major stake in the company as well as the Chinese government.
The Import Export Bank of the United States has loaned Petrobras 2 billion dollars, so I guess you could say the American people are also owners of the company.
In March of 2001, Petrobras 36, the largest oil platform in the world, blew up and sank 80 miles off the northeast coast of Rio. With plans to drill deeper than the BP’s Deepwater Horizon, let’s hope Brazil does’t experience a disaster like the one currently destroying the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to soon becoming the world’s largest oil producer, Brazil is still the world’s largest coffee producer. Most espresso that we enjoy is made with Brazilian beans.
Time to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy Chris Rea singing Espresso: