Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a monarchical system of government until the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country until populist leader Getúlio VARGAS rose to power in 1930. VARGAS governed over various versions of democratic and authoritarian regimes from 1930 to 1945. Democratic rule returned (including a democratically elected VARGAS administration from 1951 to 1955) and lasted until 1964, when the military overthrew President João GOULART. The military regime censored journalists and repressed and tortured dissidents in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The dictatorship lasted until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers, and the Brazilian Congress passed its current constitution in 1989.
By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Having successfully weathered a period of global financial difficulty in the late 20th century, under President Luiz Inácio LULA da Silva (2003-2010) Brazil was seen as one of the world's strongest emerging markets and a contributor to global growth. The awarding of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the first ever to be held in South America, was symbolic of the country's rise. However, from about 2013 to 2016, Brazil was plagued by a sagging economy, high unemployment, and high inflation, only emerging from recession in 2017. Former President Dilma ROUSSEFF (2011-2016) was removed from office in 2016 by Congress for having committed impeachable acts against Brazil's budgetary laws, and her vice president, Michel TEMER, served the remainder of her second term. A money-laundering investigation, Operation Lava Jato, uncovered a vast corruption scheme and prosecutors charged several high-profile Brazilian politicians with crimes. Former-President LULA was convicted of accepting bribes and served jail time (2018-19), although his conviction was overturned in early 2021. LULA's revival became complete in October 2022 when he narrowly defeated incumbent Jair BOLSONARO (2019-2022) in the presidential election.
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NOTE: The information regarding Brazil on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Brazil 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Brazil 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
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