Friday, September 24, 2004
On this day:

Brazil Causing Problems with the IAEA

On the nuclear weapons proliferation front, the world's primary focus of late has been on North Korea and Iran. Who would think that Brazil would be a concern?

Well, this story says that Brazil and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are arguing over the nature and scope of inspections at Brazil's nuclear plants. It's worth noting that questions about Brazil's nuclear aspirations have existed for many years, even though Brazil has agreed not to pursue nuclear weapons production. However, the current leftist President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has made statements in the past that seemed vaguely supportive of nuclear weapons development.

While on the subject of Brazil's President, affectionately known as "Lula", it should be mentioned that improving relations with other leftist leaders in the Western Hemisphere, notably Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, has been at the top of his agenda. He recently visited Cuba, meeting with dictator Fidel Castro, but refusing to meet with dissidents and the families of political prisoners. More on that trip can be found here. Another compelling view from a former Cuban political prisoner can be found here.

Recently, Mr. Lula da Silva has stepped up his campaign to win Brazil a seat on the U.N. Security Council. More on that later.