Elections in Brazil, which took place on the day when the whole world celebrated Halloween, seemed to many like a carnival - colorful, noisy, unbridled. In short, a typical Brazilian action. In fact, this election has become a rather dull replica of the American election campaign of 2020.
The role of Trump was played, of course, by the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, a staunch ultra-right activist, a voluntarist who knows no boundaries, narcissistic to the point of losing his pulse, never doubting his own infallibility and not knowing the word “compromise”. Accordingly, the role of Biden was intended for the socialist, the leader of the Brazilian workers, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. So, for example, considers the popular Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera.
From the shores of the Persian Gulf, they probably know better. Although, of course, in order to compare Biden, who graduated from two universities, with Lula, who barely reached the fifth grade of school, and then went to work as a street shoe shiner, you need to have an extraordinary imagination. Perhaps they are only related by age. Three days before the election, Lula turned 77 years old. Biden was the same age at the time of the election.
There is another common feature - Lula ran for president three times, Biden - twice, but as a result, thanks to the perseverance of character, each got his own. Now Lula made an incredible somersault, never before seen in history - from the presidential palace to prison and back. After 12 years of political non-existence, he defeated the current President Bolosonaro, although the difference in the received votes did not exceed 2 percent.
Lula made an incredible somersault, never seen in history - from the presidential palace to prison and back
Lula's supporters call him "our phoenix bird". A huge role was played by the fact that the nation remembers his past merits during his two presidential terms (2003-2010). Back then, the prices of Brazil's traditional exports were skyrocketing, allowing huge sums to be spent on all sorts of social projects. Lula and his team were proud to have lifted 30 million people out of poverty. When Lula left his post, his rating was 80 percent. Then-US President Barack Obama called him "the most popular politician on earth." Time magazine wrote that Brazil has become a "first world country" in many ways, while America has sunk to the level of the third.
But the wonderful Brazilian fairy tale did not last long. In 2018, Brazil was rocked by the most powerful corruption scandal known as “Lava Jato” – “Car Wash”. But he had nothing to do with washing cars. It was about large-scale bribery of public politicians by the largest Brazilian oil company Petrobras.
The investigation was overseen by Judge Sergio Moro. Nearly a hundred people were imprisoned, including Lula. He was accused of corruption and money laundering. By Russian standards, the charges looked ridiculous - in particular, Lula was accused of illegally purchasing an apartment in one of the resorts in Brazil (which he denied having) and a bribe of one million dollars.
Lula spent 580 days in a 15-meter federal police cell in the southern city of Kuritawa. As a result, he missed the 2018 elections, which, in the absence of a strong competitor, was easily won by Jair Bolsonaro. It would seem that Lula's political legacy was shattered into pieces. The same thing happened with his family life. His wife died - it is believed that she did not endure the humiliating investigation against her husband.
Lula's wife has died - it is believed that she could not stand the humiliating investigation against her husband
But gradually life and hope returned to the indefatigable Lula. He began to correspond with a woman named Rosangela da Silva, the postman was his lawyer Luis Carlos Rocha, who managed to carry letters under his waistcoat without being noticed by the guards. Then he will tell reporters from the Associated Press that every time he brought messages to Lula, the face of the future president began to glow. (At one of the campaign rallies, Lula said that sooner or later these letters would be published, but they would only be available to those who were 18 years old.)
At the same time, a light appeared at the end of the prison corridor. In 2019, the online publication The Intercept conducted an investigation, from which it became clear that Judge Moru, who became the Minister of Justice of Brazil under the current head of state, Jair Bolsonaro, violated the law. Thus, he worked closely with the prosecutor, exchanging messages with him on the Lava Jato case, which is strictly prohibited by law.
Lula was released, returned to politics and again led the fight for the presidency. Many of his supporters, however, were somewhat embarrassed that he once looked like a tiger, he was very dilapidated and became like his grandfather - God's dandelion. But the strength of the spirit of Lule is still not to occupy. He had a successful debate with Bolsonaro and ultimately defeated him. The latter has not yet admitted defeat and repeats that Lula owes the victory to illiterate Brazilians from the poor northeast of the country.
But there was another important factor, and this is not only a manifestation of the class struggle of the favelas against the palaces. The Brazilians have become completely intolerant of the authoritarian and voluntaristic style of President Bolsonaro. This was most evident during the pandemic, which he treated with complete disdain, calling covid “something like a regular flu.” He threw lavish parties as the pandemic approached its peak, urging fellow citizens to abandon masks and all distancing. As a result, 687 thousand people died from coronavirus in the country. Bolsonaro was tired of the nation, he began to irritate her greatly. Brazilian political scientists say that even many of the right turned their backs on him, who voted for Lula.
Bolsonaro is tired of the nation, he began to annoy her greatly
But back to the beginning of the article. The atmosphere of intransigence and total division, characteristic of America, like a coronavirus, was transmitted to Brazil. The elections were held in an extremely toxic environment, when the main thing was no longer a competition of election promises, but a culture war.
“From the Brazilian jungle to the metropolitan areas of the southwest, political divisions have spread that have affected churches, made pollsters the enemy of the nation, sparked terrible feuds between friends, members of the same family, and even between branches of government,” write Washington Post correspondents who observed the election. . “One region went against another, exposing more and more contradictions regarding sexuality, religion and race.”
Competing parties seem to have forgotten about all decorum. Bolsonaro called Lula a "Satanist" who wants to close all the churches in the country and make "unisex toilets" in schools. In campaign statements, Lula Bolsonaro appears as a "fascist dictator prone to cannibalism."
“There has been a global Americanization in the Brazilian political system,” says Guilherme Casaroes, a political analyst at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo. “Bolsonaro was able to create a permanent state of culture war in the country.”
Bolsonaro's love for the ex-president of the United States is well known, it is not without reason that in Brazil he is called "tropical Trump". As if copying his idol, Bolsonaro distanced himself from the UN, threatened to withdraw from the World Health Organization and the Paris climate agreement. Bolsonaro considers himself a staunch supporter of Vladimir Putin and hates Joe Biden.
What will Lula's third term be like? His policy, of course, will be more moderate. Solidarity with Lula will be left-wing regimes that have formed the so-called pink tide (“pink wave” is an English phrase used in Latin America to call the left). Indeed, almost all of the continent's leading countries are now led by the left (Colombia and Chile joined just this year). So first of all, Lula will talk to them.
But will the old socialist templates of the beginning of the century help him in the current torn chaotic world, where it seems that no previously adopted recipes for increasing welfare are no longer valid?