Saturday, September 26, 2009

Brazil's VP Suggests Brazil Develop Nuclear Weapons (But It's Not Going to Happen)

Brazil's vice president, Jose Alencar, made some waves this week in international politics, declaring that Brazil should work on building nuclear weapons. In an interview, Alencar went on record as saying "The nuclear weapon, used as an instrument of deterrence, is of great importance for a country that has 15,000 kilometers of border to the west and a territorial sea" that has deep oil reserves.

While this has raised some eyebrows, it's not too much to be worried about. Lula and his spokespeople made it clear immediately that those opinions were Alencar's and Alencar's alone, and in no way reflect the goals and opinions of the administration, something Alencar also declared through an aide.

What is more, the production and/or possession of nuclear weapons is illegal in Brazil - the 1988 Constitution expressly prohibits nuclear weapons. Boz has a list of other reasons why this is a bad idea, and I agree with his points. However, I don't think this is anybody's "idea" - it's just an opinion that Alencar has, and he is a tiny minority not just within the government, but within Brazilian society generally, in his belief.