Brazil Leader to Protesters: Let's Talk
But it's unclear whether Dilma Rousseff's promise of reform will quiet the storm
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2013 6:48 AM CDT
An image depicting Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff with devil horns is displayed on a post in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.   (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

(Newser) – Brazil's president broke what the AP calls her "much-criticized silence" in the face of ever-growing demonstrations in a prime-time address last night, but it's unclear whether it will be enough to calm things down. Dilma Rousseff promised to meet with protesters and lawmakers to address the nation's transportation system and other grievances, but she also said the government would not tolerate the violence emerging in protests, reports Reuters.

"We cannot live with this violence that shames Brazil," says Rousseff —herself a former Marxist rebel who protested against the nation's military rule of the 1960s. (In fact, the AP says she was imprisoned for three years and tortured by the junta.) "All institutions and public security forces should prevent, within the limits of the law, every form of violence and vandalism." As for the promises of change, the New York Times adds a note of skepticism:

  • Rousseff "has floated her ambitious proposal before—to use oil revenues to improve the beleaguered public schools—only to run up against stiff resistance from state governors who rely on the money to meet their budgets, leaving her ability to enact it in doubt."

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Jun 22, 2013 9:52 AM CDT
Like many other governments, promises are for electoral campaigns. Reality thereafter is quite another. Four years later, the public is served with a new set of lies, which we swallow hook, line and sinker. That said, our government is much too occupied with banksters and warmongers to listen to the protests of its own people. So much for "We the People". At least Brazil says "Let's talk..." for whatever that's worth!
Jun 22, 2013 7:47 AM CDT
LOL! Lets Talk, I think "YOUR PEOPLE" gave you that chance & you spat in their face with the okay we will not charge 10 cents extra on bus fares. Like spitting in their face as if the masses who's homes where destroyed for your upcoming events.... Doubt you make it through this @ all.
Jun 22, 2013 7:06 AM CDT
"Brazil Leader to Protesters: Let's Talk" I didn't know, Dilma Rousseff, was Joan Rivers in disguise? "Herself a former Marxist rebel who protested against the nation's military rule of the 1960s." Isn't this always the way of humans, being hypocrites? As long as you're on the outside looking in, you'll protest and want government to either be overthrown or changed. But once in control yourselves, than others are no good protesters who need to be put down.