May 9th, 2013
How fandom and ideology blinded the Brazilian left from seeing the blatant exploitation of Cuba’s doctors.
Read the full article here.
How fandom and ideology blinded the Brazilian left from seeing the blatant exploitation of Cuba’s doctors.
Read the full article here.
With.. Your Song
As I promised, here is the video of Elton John saying goodbye and playing Your Song in the Porto Alegre , Brazil, Concert.
Sempre que eu penso que nada pior pode surgir das entranhas podres da política brasileira, lá vem mais um petardo ainda maior e mais nauseabundo. Dessa vez a bomba é a seguinte: os seres evangélicos abjetos que ocupam um lugar no congresso nacional e que se auto-denominam “bancada evangélica” vão liderar a comissão de direitos humanos da câmara. Sim, esses são os mesmos seres que alegam ser os bastiões da moral e guardiões dos bons costumes. É, bons costumes, sabe? Como por exemplo propagar o ódio a gays, negros, aborto, mulheres, sexo, contracepção, qualquer outra religião que não seja a deles próprios, enfim, todas essas coisas erradas e imorais. De fato, no Brasil nada é tão ruim que não possa piorar. Brasil é que nem usuário de crack: um caso perdido.
Por exemplo: vocês lembram do Lindberg Farias, líder estudantil dos cara-pintadas há 20 anos, que ajudou o impeachment do então presidente Collor? Pois é, hoje ele é farinha do mesmo saco político que o Collor (são da mesma base aliada). Por isso que eu não acredito que a política brasileira tenha jamais a remota chance de se redimir, se reformar. A mesma coisa aconteceu com a geração de 64 (vide Zé Dirceu). A geração de 64 se tornou farinha daquele mesmo saco o qual eles combatiam (falavam de censura mas manipulam a mídia e se fazem de perseguidos políticos quando na realidade são o partido da situação, e a única censura que existe vem por parte deles, porque ninguém pode falar mal deles). A geração de 64 falhou. A geração de cara-pintadas falhou. A das diretas já falhou. Não existe uma história de sucesso na alegada democracia da política brasileira. Não vai existir, nunca. E isso que eu nem comecei a falar da bancada evangélica… a nova direita, a pior de todas.
Duas tragédias aconteceram num período de menos de 24 horas no RS. Dois incendios. Um foi numa boate frequentada por jovens universitários de classe média e alta. Outro foi uma favela de maioria negra e parda cheia de traficantes. No primeiro mais de 230 morreram. No segundo ninguém morreu. Porque ninguém da mídia está falando do incêndio na favela em Porto Alegre (vou encurtar): preconceito, e ninguém morreu, ponto final. Agora, meu pronunciamento pessoal longo: eu não estou preocupada com o incêndio na favela porque eu tenho certeza que as autoridades vao provideciar moradia nova e dar assistência, e ninguém morreu. A prefeitura já queria remover e reeestruturar aquela área antes mesmo do incêndio, entãoi vai que agora deslacha né? Além disso, essas duas tragédias mostram varias faces e verdades sobre nossa sociedade e nosso governo. Sobre a sociedade.. mostra que e a mídia e a sociedade se importa mais com a juventude branca de classe média do que com os pardos favelados (é duro mas é verdade nua e crua) e o sobre o governo… bom, as duas tragédias mostram que nosso governo é bastante solícito quando a solução do problema é meramente assistencialista (construir casas, achar abrigo), porque essas medidas são fáceis e (triste, mas verdade) são populistas e dão voto. Agora, quando é pra resolver catástrofes complexas e cuja cadeia de responsabilidade recai *nos próprios governantes e autoridades competentes*, aí todo mundo quer tirar o seu da reta, e tomar providências e achar culpados fica bem mais dífícil, burocrático e improvável. Por isso que eu me preocupo mais com a tragédia de Santa Maria. Os favelados de POA que perderam a casa hoje podem subir de nível e ser os universitários do futuro, e vão entrar numa casa noturna pra comemorar e também vão morrer queimados. Na realidade esses favelados também provavelmente frequentam casas noturnas igualmente negligenciadas e estão correndo risco de ser queimados. Mas depois a prefeitura não vai ter como trazer eles de volta com medidas assistenciais populistas emergenciais… Enfim, são problemas diferentes que mostram aspectos ruins da nossa sociedade e governo, mas acho que o de Santa Maria é bem mais complicado e grave.
Acho o cúmulo essa discussão sobre o destino dos royalties do petróleo. A Petrobrás é mista, mas ainda é majoritariamente uma estatal. Uma estatal *do Brasil*. Não é estatal “do estado do Rio de Janeiro”, nem “de Santos”, nem da Conchinchina nem de Cacimbinhas. Na época da redemocratização e abertura econômica uns viviam “acusando” outros de serem neoliberais que venderiam o país às corporações estrangeiras, demonizando as privatizações, essas criaturas malévolas de chifre e tridente que dominariam nosso país com seu capitalismo selvagem. Os anos se passaram, as privatizações ocorreram, os “outros” sairam do poder e os “uns” entraram e também fizeram privatizações, e no fins uns e outros se mostraram não tão diferentes assim. Tanto que eles parecem ter esquecido o que é uma estatal: tratam a divisão dos royalties do petróleo como uma empresa privada que decide qual CEO vai ganhar o maior bônus no final do ano. Mais capitalismo selvagem, impossível. Parabéns. Os royalties do petróleo pertencem igualmente a cada brasileiro, e não só aos estados produtores.
In order for this to flow properly I had to write in my first language, that is, Brazilian Portuguese.
Antes de qualquer coisa: não escrevo este post para posar de viajada cosmopolita fajuta. É só um desabafo.
Toda vez que eu volto pro Brasil eu fico homesick. Mas não é homesick de acordo com e significado americano. É o contrário, porque eu só me sinto em casa, de verdade, estando lá fora. Toda vez que eu saio da Brasil, a pior parte é voltar. Eu jamais sinto saudade. Eu nunca tenho vontade de voltar pra cá. O único sentimento que eu sinto em relação ao Brasil é medo, vergonha e tristeza. Nunca como em todos os lugares para os quais eu viajei eu me senti tão à vontade, tão livre, tão cidadã, tão respeitada, tão ser humano, tão SEGURA, tão bem-quista, tão parte de uma sociedade de bem, que tem valores em comum com os meus.
…Cesare Battisti, the convicted italian terrorist and murderer of several people, is now walking freely in the streets of Brazil, thanks to president Lula. Cesare Battisti is the new Ronald Biggs.
Dear Italian citizens: I hereby clarify, on behalf of the majority of Brazilian citizens, that we Brazilians disagree with president Lula’s decision. We are ashamed of his decision, and we think that Battisti belongs in the hands of Italian justice, nowhere else.
Last Friday I had my wallet stolen from within my handbag, within my office. I went to work with my wallet, and at 6:30 p.m. when I wanted to put money in it, I noticed it was missing. “I must have forgotten it home”, I thought. I went home, and after a thorough search operation that would make the best CSI look amateur I decided that yes, I had indeed been robbed, and it had been within the clinic. Panic stroke me immediately. I called operators to cancel my credit cards. When I was on the phone in the middle of canceling my checks too, my doorbell rang. Through the intercom, a man said “Hi! Are you Olivia? I’m the doorman of a building at Andradas Street and I need to talk to you, is that OK?” I was like “Hmm… Ok”. First lesson of Brazil survival guide: you do not, ever, open the door of your building at night for a strange man. Specially if you are a woman alone. So I knocked at my neighbour’s door, explained the situation and he accompanied me. Down at the door was this fat man in his early 60′s, holding a paper in his hand. He said “Hi! Is this yours? I found it sitting on a bench on the 4th floor of the building I work at.” I took the paper from his hand: it was my vaccination card. It had my address in it. I said “Yes, that’s mine, you happened to find my wallet by any chance?” He said “I found this and a pile of documents. I didn’t bring the documents with me because I wans’t sure I was going to find this street, as I didn’t know where it was, and I didn’t want to keep walking at night with a bunch of documents loose in my hand, risking to lose them. Would you go with me to where I work to get the rest of the documents?” Lesson number two of Brazil’s survival guide: suspect everyone, trust no one, looks can be deceiving, nice people can be bad. What if that man took me to some shady place and kidnapped me, raped me, or something like that? My neighbor and I exchanged looks and agreed to go with him. We went walking. Arriving at the building he worked there were people there who greeted him happily, then we knew he was really the doorman and not some conman or worse. He showed me where he found my documents and finally gave me my documents back. Lucky me, everything was there: my bank and credit cards, checks, fidelity cards of many stores, identity documents, medical license, driver’s license, photographs, bank extracts and even a Moleskine I carry with me. The only thing missing was actually my wallet. I concluded that I was robbed by a female patient of the clinic who must have entered the office and stolen it when I left for the restroom or to grab a prescription pad at the clinic’s reception. Why a female? Because my wallet was a feminine wallet, a very expensive designer’s feminine wallet, just the kind of expensive mime that you know it’s many women’s consumer’s dream.
I learned the lessons. One: do not buy fancy wallets. Two: There are good people in Brazil. I was as happy to find an honest person who gave me back my things without trying to con me, kidnap me or charge me for it. Just like there are bad people here, as the woman who stole from me, there are indeed very good people here. Altough the man didn’t ask for anything, next week I will get him a present (I’m still thinking): in Brazil crime pays, so why shouldn’t honesty pay too?
In the last day of his mandate, president Lula decided against the extradition of Cesare Battisti, an Italian leftist militant accused of murdering at least four people in Italy in the late 70′s. Lula’s decision was based on his belief that Battisti is politically persecuted and had an unfair trial in Italy. Lula’s act caused animosity in the Italian society. The story of Cesare Battisti is long and filled with polemics and diplomatic friction. Until recently France and Italy were at odds because of Battisti too. But that doesn’t remove the responsability of Brazil’s decision. Did president Lula make the right decision? Is Battisti guilty or innocent? Does that matter?
I think this was another blatant diplomatic goof commited by the Brazilian government. Lula’s decision bears an enormous ideological bias: just like Battisti, Lula was in prison for being a leftist militant. That’s what guided his decision, which instead should have been made assuming that one can’t really know the truth about what Battisti did or did not do – and judging that is up to Italy and no one else. If Italy’s justice system is failed, corrupted and sold out to the mafia, and if because of that Battisti had an unffair trial, that’s NOT Brazil’s business. That said, one would think Brazil has an exemplar judicial system. But that’s not the case. Brazilian justice is so failed itself that it’s not too much different than Italian justice, and it only has itself to blame for this whole imbroglio. The Brazilian Supreme Court took a long time to decide that Battisti should actually be extradited. But along with that ultimate definitive ruling came a mind-boggling reservation: Brazil’s law says that the real actual ultimate definitive irreversible irrevocable decision about an extradition is up to the President. That’s when Lula entered the story.
Things Lula should have considered:
If Battisti is innocent of the murder accusation and gets extradited: we would have one innocent man spending life in jail for crimes he didn’t commit. Even if innocent from the murder accusations, Battisti would still be a fugitive from prison, since in 1979 he was arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison for the crime of participating in an armed group, but escaped from prison a few years later, seeking refuge in France. Anyway, in this case, Brazil would have sent Battisti back to serve the 12 years of jail he was initially sentenced to. Fair enough. But Brazil also would have to live with the fact that it sent a man innocent of murder to spend life in jail (a sentence without a doubt longer and harder than the 12 years Battisti initially got for being a leftist activist).
If Battisti is innocent of murder and doesn’t get extradited: again, even if one owned the absolute truth and *knew* Battisti was innocent of murder, he would still be a fugitive from prison, since in 1979 he was arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison for the crime of participating in an armed group, but escaped to France. Diplomatic backlash and commercial jeopardy of Italy-Brazil relations is a certainty.
If Battisti is guilty of murder and gets extradited: we would have one convicted man properly behind bars. The family of the victims and the victims would have justice done. Italy-Brazil diplomacy and business would be safe. Brazil would give a step further in showing that it is not the crime abetting nation of the world. Happy ending for all.
If Battisti is guilty of murder and does not get extradited: Brazil would have to live with the fact that it gave freedom to a man who commited multiple homicide, for the despair and frustration of the victims’ families. It would reinforce its reputation for impunity and crime praisal. Diplomatic backlash and commercial jeopardy of Italy-Brazil relations is a certainty.
Considering the above, and that I do agree that Battisti had an unffair murder trial and should be given the right to a new one, here is how I would (try to) do it: I would extradite him, but under an agreement. I would extradite Battisti, but not because of the murder crime. I would extradite him because he is a fugitive of his first sentence, the 12 years for being part of an armed group. But that only under the condition that the Italian government would cancel the first murder trial and call for a new one, according to the european parliament human rights chamber. I doubt Italy would refuse that. Between not having Battisti, and having him arrested at least for the 12 years he firstly got, you think they’d go for nothing? And that way Brazil would be taking its finger out of their cake while still being fair. But I think our overrated leaders are far from having the wisdom of making choices not biased by ideological views.
Lula himself, President Dilma Rousseff and some people in their staff have been arrested and tortured during the Brazilian military regime because they were considered left wing guerrilla. They were later freed as the military came down, but the military who actually killed people were given amnesty. Last year Lula released the latest reform in Brazil’s National Plan for Human Rights, that, amongst other things, determines that the efforts to investigate the crimes commited during the military dictatorship will extend to investigating crimes of *both* sides, that is, crimes commited by the military, and by the left wing activists. The backlash against that clause was huge and people were calling Lula a traitor for making an agreement that possibly punished his own kind and still wouldn’t change what happened to the military. Judging by what he did with Battisti, apparently Lula only cares about protecting the left wing activists of other countries. Brazil’s can go to hell.