Head honchos from Haiti, France, the US (Hilary Clinton,) Canada and several other countries including Brazil are meeting in Montreal under UN auspices today to talk about what should happen in that ravaged country. I hadn't realized how big a role Brazil has been playing there until just now, but it seems that it has headed the UN force for some time. Indeed, the strains of that task have been blamed for the death (possibly by suicide) of General Urano Bacellar, the head of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti, shortly before the earthquake of January 12, 2010.
Brazil's involvement in Haiti dates from 2004, and is part of a larger strategy to make Brazil a bigger player on the international scene. As the biggest, most populous country in the Americas after the United States (192 million compared to 308 million, 2010 estimates), the question really should be: why has it not been recognized as the powerhouse it is?
Part of that has to do with its language. Portuguese ranks sixth in the world by most measures but it flies beneath the radar of many political observers, perhaps because, even though it has many points in common with Spanish, it is not easy to learn.
And on that note, I'll close and go study for my Portuguese mid-term this evening. Até logo.