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Brazil’s uncertain role in the world: Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and has been long considered an emerging global power. How does Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who served as Brazil's 34th president from 1995 to 2003, see Brazil's role in the world? On the topic of climate change, Cardoso observed, "The average people don't look after the Amazon, as an asset or a problem. And the Amazon represents both, an asset and a problem. We have to keep the Amazon going on." Cardoso, who is considered Brazil's elder statesman, also shared his perspective on his nation's relationship with China and attempts at global peace, in an interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: Brazil on the brink

Can Brazil (and Bolsonaro) recover from a crippling year?

Jair Bolsonaro had a Trump-like rise to power to become the president of Brazil, but some of the same attributes that got him elected have contributed to the many economic, political and public health crises plaguing his country. In addition to the COVID pandemic, Brazil is still suffering from the impact of its worst ever recession which began in 2014. Bolsonaro promised to turn that around—but economic growth remains low and unemployment very high. As for the Amazon, its rapid deforestation accounted for one third of the destruction of the world's tropical forests in 2019 alone. Bolsonaro is up for reelection next year, and it's going to be an interesting campaign. The likely challenger is Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, who is as far left as Bolsonaro is right.

Watch the episode: Brazil on the brink

Brazil on the brink

Latin America's largest economy has endured years of economic hardship, a barrage of political scandals, and one of the worst pandemic death tolls in the world. So where does Brazil go from here and how much longer can its president hold onto power? Former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who remains one of the most influential political figures in the country, joins Ian Bremmer to discuss Brazil's increasingly divided society, the potential fate of its current far-right leader, the prospects of his most likely challenger (known to all as "Lula") the climate crisis in the Amazon, and the country's complicated relationship with China.

Who controls the “lungs of Earth”?

Those fighting to halt climate change call the Amazon rainforest the "lungs of Earth," and they're frustrated that Brazil's current president has made his country a chain-smoker.

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