This may have been the best month for Brazil since about June 1494. That's when the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed granting Portugal everything in the new world east of an imaginary line that was declared to exist 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands. This ensured that what was to become Brazil would be Portuguese and thus develop a culture and identity very different from the rest of Spanish Latin America. This guaranteed the world would have samba, churrasco, "The Girl from Ipanema," and through some incredibly fortuitous if twisted chain of events, Gisele Bundchen.
While it took Brazil sometime to live up to the backhanded maxim that it was "the country of tomorrow and always would be," there is little doubt that tomorrow has arrived for the country even if much work remains to be done to overcome its serious social challenges and tap its extraordinary economic potential.
The evidence that something new and important was happening in Brazil began to build years ago, when then President Cardoso engineered a shift to economic orthodoxy that stabilized a country racked by cycles of boom and bust and mind-blowing inflation. It has gained momentum however, throughout the extraordinary term of the country's current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Some of that momentum is due to Lula's commitment to preserving the economic foundations laid by Cardoso, a courageous political move for a lifelong labor leader from the opposition Workers Party. Some of it is due to luck, a changing global energy paradigm that helped make Brazil's 30 years of investment in biofuels start to pay off in important new ways, massive discoveries of oil off Brazil's coast and growing demand from Asia that has enabled Brazil to become a world agricultural export leader and assume the role of "breadbasket of Asia." But much of it is due to great skill on the part of Brazil's leaders in seizing a moment that many of their predecessors likely would have fumbled. (...)Para ler o resto do artigo, acesse http://rothkopf.foreignpolicy.com/category/region/south_america