Friday, August 5, 2016

FT LatAm Viva For 5 August, 2016

FINANCIAL TIMES - Latam Viva: Your weekly briefing from the region
Rio kicks off
By John Paul Rathbone 
August 5, 2016
Despite the flickering torch, sewage in the bay, late snagging work, political protests, Zika, the arrest of purported terrorists, an Australian TV crew assailed by transvestites  and even the brief kidnapping of a sport mogul’s mother-in-law, the Rio Olympics finally kicks off on Friday night. For all its problems, controversies and over-spending, if Brazil’s 2014 World Cup is anything to go by, as a sporting event the Olympics will also likely be a great success.
The intoxicating feeling of being at the center of a world-watched event will descend onhapless Rio de Janeiro. And a semi-dream state will likely envelope the city and perhaps the whole country for a few weeks, as it did with the soccer championship two years ago. Then, when Brazil wakes up again at the end of August, the country will return to its business and the Olympian-sized political drama of Dilma Rousseff’s possible impeachment.  First, though, the games.
Elsewhere in much of the region, holiday mode seems to have descended – at least in terms of news. Not so in Venezuela, where the opposition continued its two-steps forward/one step back progress towards a recall referendum that could see President Nicolas Maduro ousted. In an ominous sign, though, Mr Maduro also appointed General Nestor Reverol as his new interior and justice minister. Mr Reverol, the former head of the national guard, was indicted this week in the US on drug-smuggling charges.
Quote of the week
“Keep out of the reach children” - a tongue-in-cheek logo printed on bags of cocaine seized by police this week in Rio.
Other views
The week in review
Rio Olympics 2016: Cybercriminals to target visitors
Experts warn of surge in online attacks around the sporting event
Olympic flame’s road to Rio highlights challenges facing Brazil
Brazil odyssey shines light on challenges facing first emerging market democracy to host the Games
Brazil pins hopes on Neymar to win elusive Olympic football gold
Despite winning five World Cups, the country’s football team have always failed at the games
Hosting a games no panacea for hurdles of Olympian proportions
Rio’s problems are unlikely to be fixed just by holding the games
Pressure grows on Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro
Opposition ready to start next phase in a referendum to recall president
How Brazilians cope with terror in everyday life
Notebook: Jokes about foiled terror plot before the Olympics are self-defence, writes Samantha Pearson
Police rescue mother-in-law of Bernie Ecclestone
Brazilian anti-kidnap squad storms hide-out near São Paulo
Rio’s charismatic mayor stays upbeat in face of Olympics critics
Claims of botched preparations ahead of Friday’s opening fail to unsettle city’s leader
AccorHotels aims high in Brazil expansion
French group wants 400 hotels in recession-hit country by 2020
Lula da Silva and six others to be tried
Investment banker André Esteves among those facing obstruction of justice case in Brazil