In July 2010, former President Lula said during the World Cup in South Africa, that it was “inappropriate for someone to worry about anything in regard to the 2014 World Cup”. “Brazil will invest in infrastructure more till 2014 than it has been investing in 30 years”, leaving his audience delirious. “If with all this, Brazil is not able to perform a World Cup I will swim back to the country”.
It isn’t that bad that Lula didn’t keep his promise to swim back from Cape Town to Rio, but neither he, nor his PT-successor Dilma Rousseff did honour one single infrastructure promise to the people. It weren’t only the infrastructure projects that gave the headaches (they were halfway cancelled anyway), but also the basic facilities as the stadiums. The mess around the organisation of the World Cup was so complete that FIFA officials panicked and regretted the fact that Brazil was chosen hosting the football event.
Lula’s promise that no public money should be used for the World Cup turned out to be a blatant lie. Some 26 billion reais (13 billion USD) is already wasted on the World Cup and the white elephants after the Cup will drain more public money for years to come.
With only 9 days to go before the start of the World Cup, there is no doubt: There will be a Cup. It is also beyond doubt that what was planned to be the most successful sporting event favouring the results of the reigning Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) in the general elections in 2014, turns out to be not more than an economic-political fiasco.
And so the World Cup has landed in the middle of the battle ground of the general elections and the PT government is very nervous about that. To be perfectly clear they have all the reasons to be very, very nervous with this situation.
The outlook for a successful election result is even getting worse. The World Cup might run its course and the football fan might be politically silenced for a few weeks (I don’t say there will be no street protests), the Indian platform has no intention at all to keep quite.
After the bow-and-arrow confrontation with the riot police last week, the Indian protesters were back the next day in front of the Ministry of Justice. After about a two hours meeting with Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo, nothing had changed, according to the indigenous chiefs, who attended the meeting, in relation to the demarcation of indigenous lands.
Chief Wilton Tuxá said on Thursday (29) that the current format of the negotiation table with Indians and ranchers of the conflict regions over land, benefits the large farmers, whom he called “enemies”. He criticized the government’s stance in managing the problem. “I never expected a PT government, who preaches democracy, acting so arbitrary. Locking the demarcation of indigenous lands in Brazil today is an electioneering action”.
Before leaving, Indians painted the flag of Brazil with annatto, a red plant pigment, symbolising blood. Some natives came out of the meeting shouting “Now it’s war”.
And it will be war. While the Brazilian voter evolved, Brazilian politics dawdled.
In an interview with Estado do São Paulo, Carlos Augusto Montenegro, president of Ibope, gave the following answer to the question; “Will there be a surprise with the election?”
I quote “I do not think so. I don’t believe that there will be a miracle, a rabbit out of the hat. Many people speculate about a return of Lula. Lula is obviously more political, more attractive, but also all these confusions that are around us at this moment, have as origin his administration”.
Dilma indeed inherited the mess Lula left behind, while he now is trying to justify his blunders in discourses for entrepreneurs and similar folk that anxiously hang on to the “Golden Age of an Easy Buck”, a period Lula created for them as long as they supported him with their donations.
I admired Dilma, but (in my opinion) she made an enormous and fatal mistake by following the council of Lula. She never should have done that. After kicking-out six ministers of the previous Lula administration for corruption, she could have known that all and everybody around Lula was and is a Petralha. She should have followed her own political line, ignoring what the capo di tutti capi was telling her. She could have known, the moment Lula was awarded the “Golden Handcuffs” for being the most corrupt politician of the year. The Award was not to be seen as a joke, but a real judgement the way people saw Lula.
To understand the period Lula – Dilma, I took an analysis from Veja:
Dilma built a political career in the resistance to the military junta and later in the PDT, she never had a PT soul. Upon assuming the presidency, she inherited much of the dome of the Lula government, as ministers, directors of state-owned companies and the head to the Presidencial Office in São Paulo, (Lula’s sweetheart) Rosemary Noronha. The Lula government was at all levels scheduled to continue running the country. The plan was to give Dilma her own say in their management gradually, reducing the influence of her predecessor over time. Palocci, her first chief of staff, gave the epithets to that strategy: “The first year in office, it will be a Lula-Dilma government. The second, a Dilma-Lula government. The third year will be a Dilma-Dilma government”. This schedule, however, was overthrown by reality. In 2011 president Dilma was forced to discharge six ministers accused of corruption and influence peddling. Four of them left-overs of the previous Lula government. Dilma showed uncompromisingness with wrongdoing, unlike Lula, who used to defend politicians caught in irregularities.
With the so called ethical housecleaning, she reached record popularity and succeeded to forcefully draw from the hands of notorious Petralhas strategic sectors in the administration. The PT wasn’t spared in this onslaught.
The party lost ground in pension funds and Petrobras reformulated its board in 2012. Ethics housecleaning was accompanied by professional management. With these changes, many a starry Petralha, such as the now jailed José Dirceu, lost influence. There was a growing distance between the president and the party leaders, but Lula kept the PT united and silent. He claimed that the “conservative media” extolled the layoffs executed by his successor with the clear intention of attacking him personally. Dilma helped win voters who historically had an aversion to the PT. In other words: a comparison between the two benefitted the party. This discourse kept the comrades under control until 2013, when the president’s popularity plummeted due to inflation and the popular demonstrations in June of that year. The own PT began to criticize Dilma, conspired against her in Congress and advocated the candidacy of Lula. Internal strife became visible, but it was still limited and restricted backstage. This dike broke with the scandal of Petrobras.
Today, the PT witnesses a public and bloody battle between the soldiers of the two presidents. Palocci didn’t predict the epithet for the last year, but Dilma’s last year in office can be labelled: the Dilma vs. Lula government.
And with this, the intensifying street protests, the announced and continuing worker strikes, the aggressive Indian platform, the slowly but inevitably coming to light corruption scandals, the failing World Cup organisation, the failing organisation of the Olympics 2016, the rising inflation that sets back the spending power of the ordinary people, the stagnating economy, the decrease in industrial production output, the lack of hospitals and failing health care, the disastrous level of education, the absurd high crime rate and violence in the street and the brutality of the police, we enter the pre-period of the general elections. People will know, people will remember.
With the World Cup almost in progress, the people will be quiet for some weeks, but after that “O Gigante Acorda” (The Giant Wakes Up).