BRAZIL: After the Earthquake

The political earthquake that shook Brazil afortnight ago (TIME. April 18) subsided last week. The process ofreshuffling the Cabinet continued, but President Joâo Café Filho calmlywent ahead with his plans to fly from Rio this week on a nine-day tripto Portugal, the Brazilian motherland. One reason he could be calm wasthat the 36th International Eucharistic Congress is scheduled toconvene in Rio in July. With 1,000,000 Roman Catholic visitorsexpected, leaders of all factions want to keep up a hospitableappearance of normality. In the Cabinet comings and goings, a new Finance Minister shouldered theburden of coping with inflation-ridden Brazil’s nagging economicproblems. Minister José Maria Whitaker is a pink-cheeked,white-mustached. 76-year-old Sāo Paulo banker with 13 children, 68grandchildren, five great-grandchildren. Brazilians took heart from hispromise to avoid “hasty solutions,” and from his reputation as ahardheaded financier. A columnist called the appointment “an unexpectedmiracle,” and the free-market cruzeiro climbed from 86 per dollar to80, about where it stood on the eve of the earthquake.

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