Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Subdued reaction in Latin America to bin Laden news

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on May 2, 2011

by Solana Pyne and Erik German for Global Post, May 2nd, 2011.

In Brazil, a soccer match was bigger news than Osama bin Laden’s death.

Reaction across Latin America to the news that U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden was generally subdued and congratulatory — except in Venezuela.

Speaking on state television, Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua criticized the United States’ jubilant reaction to bin Laden’s death. “It never ceases to surprise how crime and murder have become normal and are celebrated,” Jaua was quoted as saying in the Venezuelan paper, El Nacional.

Jaua also made reference to recent NATO airstrikes that killed the son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. “Now the death of any individual,” Jaua said, “not only those outside the law like Osama bin Laden, but also presidents, families of presidents, are openly celebrated by the heads of the governments that bomb them.”

In Brazil, bin Laden’s death received comprehensive coverage on television and in print, yet the event was treated as a big foreign story with less local impact than, say, a widely watched soccer game.

Brazil’s minister of foreign relations, Antonio Patriota, released a brief statement Monday morning, saying Brazil “condemns terrorism in all its manifestations.”

“As Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have been and still are behind the political strategies that favor terrorist acts, we can only sympathize with the victims and those who seek justice,” the minister told the state-run wire service, Agencia Brasil. (continue reading… )

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