Nothing Happened at Punta del Este, Brazilian Political Leader Maintains

"The Punta del Este Conference didn't coin anything, neither money, nor rhetoric, nor dreams," Carlos Lacerda, prominent Brazilian political leader said last night.

Speaking at a Leverett-Dunster House panel discussion, Lacerda said there was little popular appeal in Latin America for the idea of a Common Market outlined at the conference.

Lacerda attacked the Conference for not dealing with immediate needs of Latin America. "The real question," he said, "is can the people wait ten years?" Short range questions such as more aid to education -- which Lacerda strongly supports -- and better prices for Latin American exports were ignored at Punta del Este, he asserted.

Lacerda and Albert O. Hirschman, Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy, who also participated in the panel, discussion, disagreed on whether a common market could succeed in Latin America. Hirschman contended that tariffs between countries would be reduced, while Lacerda took the view that nations would not give up their right to basic industries.

On Brazilian politics, Lacerda feels the new military regime is trying to move the country toward elections in 1970. Lacerda, an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 1966, and an advocate of democratic participation in politics, warned that transferring the government to civilian rule may fail, because of the military's desire for political power.


"If they (the new leaders) don't make the change, Brazil will have a progressive dictatorship," he said.

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