Hotel Trópico: Brazil and the Challenge of African Decolonization, 1950–1980

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Duke University Press, Jul 13, 2010 - History - 325 pages
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In the wake of African decolonization, Brazil attempted to forge connections with newly independent countries. In the early 1960s it launched an effort to establish diplomatic ties with Africa; in the 1970s it undertook trade campaigns to open African markets to Brazilian technology. Hotel Trópico reveals the perceptions, particularly regarding race, of the diplomats and intellectuals who traveled to Africa on Brazil’s behalf. Jerry Dávila analyzes how their actions were shaped by ideas of Brazil as an emerging world power, ready to expand its sphere of influence; of Africa as the natural place to assert that influence, given its historical slave-trade ties to Brazil; and of twentieth-century Brazil as a “racial democracy,” a uniquely harmonious mix of races and cultures. While the experiences of Brazilian policymakers and diplomats in Africa reflected the logic of racial democracy, they also exposed ruptures in this interpretation of Brazilian identity. Did Brazil share a “lusotropical” identity with Portugal and its African colonies, so that it was bound to support Portuguese colonialism at the expense of Brazil’s ties with African nations? Or was Brazil a country of “Africans of every color,” compelled to support decolonization in its role as a natural leader in the South Atlantic? Drawing on interviews with retired Brazilian diplomats and intellectuals, Dávila shows the Brazilian belief in racial democracy to be about not only race but also Portuguese ethnicity.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Brazil in the Lusotropical World
11
2 Africa and the Independent Foreign Policy
39
Brazilian Diplomats in Nigeria
64
4 War in Angola Crisis in Brazil
91
5 Latinité or Fraternité? Senegal Portugal and the Brazilian Military Regime
117
Brazil Rediscovers Africa
141
7 Brazil and the Portuguese Revolution
170
8 The Special Representation in Angola 1975
190
Marketing Brazil in Nigeria
221
Epilogue
244
Notes
257
Bibliography
293
Index
307
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About the author (2010)

Jerry Dávila is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is the author of Diploma of Whiteness: Race and Social Policy in Brazil, 1917–1945, also published by Duke University Press.

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