viernes, 31 de octubre de 2014

Rousseff Stays, But Not By Chance

For some of us, because I refuse to believe I am alone in this, Rousseff’s reelection in Brazil came as no surprise. Considering certain potentially disturbing factors, one finds that the result of this election was quite foreseeable, as many are nowadays.

One of such factors is the realization of the next Summer Olympic Games in Brazil, in two years’ time. In order to prepare for this event and the last FIFA World Cup, the Brazilian government forcefully evicted thousands of people from their makeshift homes, mostly built illegally in invaded zones of the cities where the sporting events were to take place. Be that as it may, it meant two separate realities: that the families who lost their houses to a fancy stadium were then left in a much worse state than they were already, and that the government had every legal and lawful resource to carry out the evictions and the demolitions that ensued. On that note, it becomes clear where the conflict lies: the monopoly of the use of force.

Under Rousseff, million dollar contracts have been pursued and signed in preparation for the sporting events and the scores of tourists that represents. Such contracts are reflected on new fighter jets, provided by Saab, electric stun guns provided by TASER, armor and other equipment for the police forces, and so on. The execution of the contracts, as well as their necessary oversight by government watchdogs will occur over the next few years as the new equipment comes in and new soldiers and police officers are trained. And in the meantime, a so-called socialist administration will foster business for openly capitalist and right-wing companies. And all along, the campaign was and continues to be fostered by non-existent leftist ideas. At the same time, and through the same channels, an incredibly grotesque illegal flow of weapons will continue making its way into the heart and hands of Brazilian gangs, justifying the huge defense investments.

On the other hand, there is also the issue of Eduardo Campos and his untimely, yet somewhat convenient demise. This circumstance left the pathway open for environmentalist Marina Silva to take his place in the race. And though the polls never truly showed Silva to be a contender for the presidency, she did gain considerable media exposure for herself and the party, which is ultimately the goal of campaining for many candidates around the world.

Back on subject, I know I am not the only one who feels Campos’s death was no accident. The hallmark of a rather dirty and aggressive campaign was the death of an outspoken socialist candidate running for office in a country in need of a profound reform in terms of social and domestic education spending. Nevermind the millions Brazil gives away in scholarships to foreign students. That money is better spent at home, showing kids and families that a professional career in soccer or organized crime are not the only options out there.

It should be said out loud that Brazil and many other South American nations have such incredible soccer players, not thanks to schools where families and kids choose to train, but rather out of a morbid lack of opportunity and means, together with far too much time to spare.

In sum, Rousseff stays. And that does nothing for the social scene of Brazil. It ensures continuity for the defense contractors and their contracts, and a sad preservation of a sickening devotion for sport that only the outside world cares about.