Barack Obama
Economy & Trade, Government & Politics

Depois de uma campanha desgastante e após um dia de grande movimento eleitoral, o país escolheu seu novo presidente. Um líder concebido pela própria força do povo, carregado de carisma, que foi capaz de contaminar o país com seu discurso de mudança e união do povo - a despeito de sua falta de experiência administrativa. Um dia após o pleito, todos os jornais propagaram a boa nova. O país ainda celebrava a escolha, o fim do continuismo. Demonstrava, em cada face, o significado real da palavra “esperança”.

After an exhausting campaign and a very busy election, this country has chosen its new president. A leader designed by the strength of its people, who is full of charisma and was able to infect the country with his speech about change and unity of people - despite his lack of administrative experience. The day after the election, all the newspapers brought the good news. The country also celebrated its choice, the end of the political status quo. The real meaning of the word “hope” was shown on everyone's face.

This was on Monday, October 28 2002, as Brazilian blogger Marmota notes, and Brazil had just elected its thirty-fifth president: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former trade union leader and a founding member of the country's Workers' Party. If we look at class rather than race, those elections changed history too, and the images of the huge mass of people waiting for Obama at the night of November 04, 2008 at Grant Park in Chicago actually reminded many Brazilians of Lula's arrival at Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo, a little more than six years ago. Looking at what has happened in Brazil since, Marmota says that Obama may want to look up to Lula to find out how to deal with people's overwhelming hope and expectations of immediate changes:

As comparações, evidentemente, só fazem algum sentido ao analisarmos dois elementos. Um é a euforia pós-vitória; outro é o regime de governo. Em nossas democracias, o poder está nas mãos de um cidadão eleito pelo povo; este, ao lado de seus partidários, só consegue governar após uma criteriosa composição de equipe, onde o escolhido distribui o poder entre confiáveis e competentes. Ou não. Pois diante de tamanha expectativa, há o risco da decepção naqueles cuja confiança foi depositada com tamanho fervor. Provavelmennte, entre as próximas decisões a serem tomadas pelo novo presidente dos Estados Unidos, a mais óbvia pode ser pinçada desta nação dos trópicos: para não acabar com as crenças e esperanças alheias, certifique-se de que está cercado pelas pessoas certas.

Of course, these comparisons only make any sense when we look at two elements. One is the post-victory euphoria, another is the government system. In our democracies, power is at the hands of a citizen elected by the people; Together with their supporters, he/she can only rule after a careful composition of their team, in which the elected person distributes power to reliable and competent people. Or not. Well, when facing such expectations, there is a risk of disappointing those who had completely trusted them. Probably, among the next decisions to be taken by the United States president-elect, the most obvious ones may be pinched from this tropical nation: in order not to put an end to people's beliefs and hopes, do make sure you are surrounded by the right people.

The government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has managed to reduce poverty, expand its internal market and the country is even in a better position to endure global financial turbulence. However, his achievements have been marred by corruption schandals - exactly what Brazilians wanted to change. Journalist Victor Barone interviewed Lula in 2003, right at the beginning of his first therm in office, and asked him if he feared he would disappoint his electors. He says Lula replied: “I believe there it only makes sense for a person like me to reach the presidency if it is to make a difference never seen.” The blogger says those days he believed good intentions could save the world, nowadays he fears they can not:

É que há algo que não me sai da cabeça, uma relação entre o Lula de 2003 - fiel depositário da esperança da população brasileira por mudanças reais no âmbito político, econômico e social - e o presidente Obama. Pupulam pela imprensa e pela internet odes ao primeiro presidente negro da maior nação do planeta, do maior império da história moderna, quiçá de todos os tempos. Confesso que Obama fascina, meche com nosso imaginário, nos faz pensar que a humanidade pode avançar deixando de lado anacronismos como o racismo. Mas, então, penso em Lula e faço uma relação entre o desencanto político de milhões de brasileiros e o que poderá ocorrer na América e no mundo se Barack Obama falhar em sua missão de guiar os destinos dos EUA rumo a um futuro menos belicista e egocêntrico.

There is something that I can not get off my head, the link between the Lula of 2003 - trustee of the Brazilian population's hopes of real changes in the political, economic and social spheres - and President-elect Obama. The media and the Internet are full of odes to the first black president of the greatest nation on Earth, the greatest empire of modern history, perhaps of all time. I confess that Obama fascinates, lets our imagination go, makes us think that humanity can move forward leaving behind anachronisms such as racism. But then, I think of Lula and make a link between the political disenchantment of millions of Brazilians and what might happen in America and the world if Barack Obama fails in his mission to guide the U.S. towards a less bellicose and egocentric future.

Even the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva himself could not avoid comparisons. At a Mercosur meeting last Friday, he said that Barack Obama's election in the United States “began in South America,” mentioning the leaders that com from the poorest backgrounds, such as Evo Morales (Bolivia), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Tabaré Vázquez (Uruguay) to become presidents and his own election in Brazil:

“Eu sempre tomei cuidado para não opiniar sobre as eleições em outros países, mas no caso dos Estados Unidos eu não me contive e fiz questão de dizer que gostaria que Obama ganhasse. E tudo isso começou na América do Sul. Obama é mais um passo disso”.

“I have been always careful not to express my opinions on other countries' elections, but in the case of the United States case I could not hold myself and had said I'd like Obama to win. And it all began in South America. Obama is another step forward.”

According to news outlets, the President Lula is negotiating a private meeting with president-elect Barack Obama before the G-20 Washington summit on 15 November. Blog do Savarese gives Obama a hint:

Apesar dos pesares, talvez o rapaz devesse pedir uns conselhos pro tio Lula.

Despite everything, perhaps the guy should ask Uncle Lula to give him some advice

Photoart by escrevo Logo existo

  • More original articles


    1. Meire Says:

      Me poupe! Sem comparação. Lula é uma anta corrupta! Nem em sonho ele chega perto da inteligência e competência(à ser comprovada, mas eu acredito e muito) do Obama.

    2. Marcel Says:

      I totally agree with Meire.
      I lived in Brasil for 10 Years and noticed what had happend under Lulas Regime.
      No one can seriously compare Lula with Obama.
      Obama might want to ask Lula for advice if he likes his country overrun and ruled by Criminals and also if he wants to see american children uneducated and starving.
      Other than that, I think Obama will do just fine.

      By the way, I am neither Brazilian or American.
      So my opinion is not influenced by patriotism.

    3. Solana Larsen Says:

      First time I went to Brazil was right after President Lula had been elected in 2002. I went to the World Social Forum and was so impressed by how excited everyone I met was. You’d ask people who they voted for and they would literally start clapping and singing the Lula song. Like the bloggers above, I also thought about how similar the experience has been in the United States in some ways (although Americans are much less prone to spontaneous singing and dancing). The excitement in Brazil subsided when Lula compromised on ideals his supporters favored, especially on economics and world trade (others were relieved he didn’t turn things upside down). There was no shortage of infighting in Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) and NGOs also struggled to find a new opposition (?) role for themselves once ‘their guy’ was in office. Probably the best thing Obama supporters can do to help the new presidency is to hold Obama strictly accountable for all the promises he made during the campaign. He will need them as leverage to push through big changes.

    4. Paula Says:


      I think you guys kind of got it wrong – the main comparision here is not Lula/Obama itself, but the feelings voters had towards that elections, as well as the big change that both elections represent.

      As solana pointed out, people were just as hopeful, excited, happy in general – and expecting much more than what is humanly possible to achieve in 4 years – Brazil needs a century to get over the bad legacy from previous government, who destroyed the education system only to name one thing which would impact everything else

      I haven’t lived in Brazil since, but from the news I get (not exactly from the media, but friends and family) Brazil is much better than before and in the right track, but we did get disillusioned with the corruptions schandals and the old ways of doing politics that still remain. I hope that the Obama electors won’t have the same feeling after his time in office.

      And Meire, that was not an elegant way to refer to the presidend which was elected by the Brazilian people. You may have better argumentation than calling Lula a tapir, I hope.

    5. Solana Larsen Says:

      Haha I was wondering what an “anta” was…

      Lula was a working class leader elected to lead the country that had tortured and imprisoned many of his supporters during the dictatorship. I think the election of an African-American man to the most powerful office in the world is comparably exciting.

    6. Victor Barone Says:

      Apenas a título de colaboração: independente do posicionamento que se possa ter em relação ao Governo Lula – eu mesmo sou bastante crítico, em especial à sua relação com a imprensa, com os casos de corrupção e com a manutenção de um Estado paternalista – deve-se dizer que os níveis sociais do Brasil melhoraram em seu Governo. O Latinobarómetro, pesquisa anual da The Economist sobre o pensamento político dos cidadãos latino-americanos – divulgado sexta-feira – mostra que Lula tem o apoio de 79% da população. Definitivamente não é pouca coisa.

      Meus 50 cents sobre a questão Lula/Obama: não concordo que seja possível fazer comparações entre os dois. Não porque Lula tenhga menos “inteligência e competência” que Obama, ou porque, sob Lula, o Brasil seja governado por “criminosos, ou tenha suas crianças incultas ou famintas”. Mas porque as duas trajetórias, as trajetórias de vida – assim como os dois países – são totalmente diferentes. O trecho citado por Paula Góes, pinçado de um comentário meu sobre Lula e Obama, refere-se a uma comparação entre a sensação de esperança que brasileiros e americanos tiveram com a eleição de Lula e Obama, respectivamente.

      Quando me refiro à frustração dos brasileiros perante o Governo Lula, estou falando de uma frustração política de uma fatia da população que esperava uma guinada mais sinuosa rumo a um “fazer político” diferente do que temos no Brasil desde a República. Isso ao ocorreu. Mas, a política social de Lula agrada aos que nada mais esperam de um Governo do que paternalismo. Estes analfabetos políticos brasileiros são da mesma gênese que os analfabetos políticos americanos.

    Leave a Reply