GRANDES ANTILLES : COUNTRY PROFILE
FACTS & FIGURES
Official Name : Federative Republic of Brazil
Capital : Brasilia (largest city: Sao Paulo)
Population : 212 million Area 8.55m km2 (15x France)
Major language : Portuguese
Major religion : Christianity
Currency : real President: Jair Bolsonaro
CONTEXT & CONCERNS
One of the largest democracies, Brazil is the most prominent country in South America and an economic power enduring political turmoil.
Colonized by the Portuguese, Brazil has a diverse population comprised of indigenous Americans, descendants of African slaves, and European settlers. Despite recent gains in rescuing millions out of poverty, social inequality and mistrust in the elites and the media persist.
The mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis and internal political disputes led the country to a precarious health situation.
POLITICS & PARTNERS
Regionally, Brazil represents about half of the military spending for South America, but its preferred strategies for conflict resolution tended to be diplomatic.
Internationally, the country hoped to strengthen its claim for a UN Security Council seat by integrating the BRICS: a group of major emerging powers. Although the current administration focused on reconnecting with western and right-wing allies, such as the US, Portugal, and Israel, Brazil’s main economic partner is still China.
The Amazon rainforest is at the core of its international disputes. Massive deforestation has been an obstacle for several negotiations while the country balances sovereignty and environmental concern.