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Brazil: Former 'terrorist' gets US travel visa, praises Obama

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What do Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize and a Brazilian ex-"terrorist" have in common?

Very little on the surface. But the Brazilian's new status in the eyes of the US government may be another sign to critics of this year's Nobel award: The emperor really is wearing peace beads and a tie-dye T-shirt.

Some Russians say US President Barack Obama is thawing a 'second cold war.' Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres gushed as he congratulated Mr. Obama for last Friday's Nobel win: “You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope.”

And there's now this quirky kicker: A Brazilian student radical who kidnapped the American ambassador in 1969 says the newest Nobel peace laureate seems to be making amends with him, too. The US granted him a travel visa.

Paulo de Tarso Venceslau had already been turned down three times by the American consulate. The reason? They said he was a "terrorist."

It was 40 years ago last month that Mr. Venceslau, current congressman Fernando Gabeira, Franklin Martins (a minister for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva), and their group of radical students held US Ambassador Charles Burke Elbrick hostage for four days. The group, known as Revolutionary Movement 8th October (MR-8), demanded the release of 15 political prisoners held by the Brazilian military dictatorship. It worked.


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