Obama Confident Brazil's Democracy Can Resolve Political Crisis

  • Brazil is `a friend' of both U.S. and Argentina, Obama says
  • Argentina's Macri says `Brazil will come out of this stronger'

President Barack Obama expressed confidence that Brazil will be able to effectively resolve the political crisis currently gripping Latin America’s biggest economy.

“Their democracy is sufficiently mature, institutions and laws are strong enough for this to get resolved -- we need a strong Brazil,” Obama said at a news conference in Buenos Aires on Wednesday alongside President Mauricio Macri during a state visit to Argentina.

Impeachment proceedings against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff are gaining momentum in the country’s Congress as her government alliance comes unglued. The political crisis, fueled by allegations of corruption at the state-run oil company, Petrobras, is exacerbating a recession that’s forecast to be the worst in over a century. Rousseff on Tuesday branded the the opposition’s plan to impeach her a coup against democracy and vowed that she will not resign under any circumstances.

Appealing to the Supreme Court could be Rousseff’s last resort against the impeachment process that is gaining traction in Congress. Yet, so far, the country’s high court has been of little help after blocking Rousseff’s bid to tap former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as chief of staff to help her rebuild support in Congress.

The U.S. and Argentina are Brazil’s second and third biggest trading partners, with almost $100 billion in trade in 2014, according to Bloomberg data.

Macri said his government is watching the situation neighboring Brazil closely.

“We have great affection for the Brazilian people, the country is our largest partner and we are convinced Brazil will come out of this situation stronger,” Argentina’s president said. Macri added that he plans to attend the Summer Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro that commence Aug. 5.

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