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Scrutiny
  
Improbable...
...but not impossible!
30/11/2006

It might not be the next China in the making still, but quite certainly it is the India of Latin America (a little lackluster but with loads of potential). Even if it were not for the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) report from the Goldman Sachs (which stated that in less than forty years the BRIC economies together would be bigger than the G-6), Brazil would have always been there as among the nations in contention for the big league (the 10th richest country in the world in terms of GDP according to the World Bank figures of 2005).

Still, this is just one part of the story. The other part (and potentially the dangerous one) is that Brazil is one of the few countries in the world which has the capability to enrich uranium (boosted by the new centrifuge facility operationalised in the Resende Nuclear plant in Rio de Janeiro). Add to this that it also has one of the largest uranium-ore deposits of the world. Ignoring Brazil would be a little more than just a folly, being a signatory of the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty) notwithstanding, one should not forget that it had been under military rule for more than two decades (1964-1985) during which it had initiated a major military nuclear program as a response to Argentina’s endeavour in the same.

So far so good... but the unresolved issue is whether Brazil would be able to prevent the temptation of playing a major role in the nuclear market given the rivalry it shares with a number of countries in its neighbourhood. Brazil, despite being given bright prospects for future, also happens to suffer from acute inequality & economic hardships at home. If Brazil’s premier Lula joins the ever present ‘leftist’ hands with the likes of Chavéz, or (though extreme) treads the path of Iran and North Korea to secure nuclear legitimacy, then whatever else it might be, it would certainly not further the cause of global peace. Global ambition is a wonderful proposition when coupled with the urge to resist hegemony of the recognised nuclear powers. And the world would certainly not be a better place when every other country would have a ‘peaceful use’ nuclear bomb to dangle.

By:- B&E
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