A former Amazon activist and Environment Minister Marina Silva is in a dead-heat presidential race with President Dilma Rousseff, who represents the Workers Party, which she herself helped found three decades ago, the UK Independent reports.
“Brazil has a great opportunity to become a global leader by leading by example,” Ms Silva said, talking about human rights and environmental protections. “Our values cannot be modified because of ideological or political reasons, or because of pure economic interest.”
Asked whether she would continue Brazil’s strong investment in and political support for regimes such as Cuba, Venezuela, China and Iran, Ms Silva said that dialogue was essential with each – but that her personal convictions meant Brazil would be more vocal in pushing human rights. “The best way to help the Cuban people is by understanding that they can make a transition from the current regime to democracy, and that we don’t need to cut any type of relations,” she said.
“If elected, she has such a remarkable personal story that she’d come to the presidency with a lot of legitimacy, tremendous excitement and high expectations,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue.