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Brazil's Freedom Forum puts Latin America on global liberal map
Thursday 16 April 2015 09:04

"Never before in the history of Brazil have the Liberals had such a good opportunity to turn the game and spread more ideas and values ​​of liberalism". This is how columnist Rodrigo Constantino evaluated the 28th annual Freedom Forum (Forum da Liberdade) which took place in Porto Alegre this week. The Forum gave a key contribution towards LI’s upcoming Congress, which will take place Latin America - on 29-31 October in Mexico City.

What is known as the "largest liberal event in Latin America" was organised by the Institute for Business Studies - IEE, member of LI cooperating organisation RELIAL and supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty. In his talk with the LI Secretary General Emil Kirjas, who was present at the event, the Institute's President Federico Hilzendeger reiterated the invitation to Liberal International to join forces with the Forum and organise a joint event in the future.

 

The messages that Brazil and Latin America need to confront populism and excessive state intervention and to introduce a clear liberal system of government was voiced loudly by all of the speakers and echoed in the talks among the thousands of attendees. The President of the Brazilian Group of Liberal International, Congressman Onyx Lorenzoni, joined the call for radical change in the Brazilian and Latin American political system. Talking to the representatives of Liberal International and Friedrich Naumann Foundation he spoke of a "decisive moment" faced by Brazil, which is facing being suffocated by economic downturn, endless corruption scandals and an incompetent government. "People are not willing to tolerate this situation any longer, and unlike in the past are willing to speak up", said Lorenzoni.

 

The Forum brought together over 5,000 participants and an impressive list of speakers. The meetings built on the atmosphere created by the massive street protests that saw millions of Brazilians protesting across the country on 12 April calling for an end of corruption in the governing structure, reform of the political system, and impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. Among the speakers at the Forum were the initiators of the street protests, the young people from the Movimiento Brasil Livre Kim Katagiuri, Ronan Santos and Alexandre Santos.

 

The columnist Rodrigo Constantion could not have concluded the Forum more accurately: "Liberalism has never been tried in Brazil, a country always dominated by collectivist and statist mentality. It's time to change this situation. The liberals can organize better, gain more supporters based on the persuasive power of our arguments, and also know how to present the message with a slightly higher emotional appeal."

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