By an insider.
Lula has a background as a labor union leader at the “Sindicato dos Metalurgicos” in São Paulo. Brazilian unions have no fresh reputation here, nor less the union in question. There are hundreds of unions in Brazil, one already worse than the other. Unions are easy to set up and easy to get money through mandatory contributions. Quite a few unions are corrupt, violent, authoritarian. That’s because of a labor law which is hopelessly outdated and always works to detriment of the employer. Lula’s and Dilmas syndicate belongs to the “big guys” category.
Their party (PT, Workers Party) is far left, formed in 1980 through this labor union. Lula is a simple metal worker, but with a big mouth. He has no culture, can hardly read and write, let alone mastering any other language. But he has charisma. That eventually led, after several failed attempts, unto his election as president in 2002.
He wandered further on the first steps towards democracy, set by his predecessor FHC (Fernando Henrique Cardoso). FHC is the man of the “Plano Real”, a reform of the Brazilian currency at the time (in the 90s) solved the problem of a huge inflation. His wife, Ruth Cardoso, is the founder of the Bolsa Familia. There were then several programs that recorded the poor and came to their aid. Lula’s merit is that he assembled all the fragments in a program called “Fome Zero”, later Bolsa Familia. Millions came away from extreme poverty, but at the same time abuse began to expand.
The PT, over the years, became more and more authoritarian and made clear that power was more important than maintaining a decent government. This became very clear after the election of his successor Dilma, a former resistance fighter during the period of military dictatorship. During that period was Dilma active with bank raiding and the like. The ideology was that of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Left wing is very much okay for the PT, that supports regimes like that of Hugo Chavez and his successor. Meanwhile is the economy gradually sloping down by mismanagement and corruption. Key members of the PT were convicted and put in jail for corruption. And it got worse. Dutch readers should consult the archives of Link2Brazil on the keyword ‘corruption’ and hit the search button. It will quickly become apparent.
Furthermore, the PT skipped to give answers to the needs of the fast-growing middle class on issues as: safety, health, education, inflation. This led to violent protests last year, while billions have been drained to Cuba to build ports.
The PT is incompetent, confused, authoritarian and aims to diminish the freedom of the press, also actively trying to divide the country us (the poor) and them (the elite). That image is obsolete. The population is tired, they really want to go forward and not lag behind in regard to the western countries. The latest and very large corruption scandal at Petrobras is oil on the fire. Again this involves the government parties PT, PP and PSDB.
The election battle was very fierce, with ongoing stinking mud throwing, especially from the PT corner. Lula is now an old man, still trying to manifest on the barricades, but no longer with the same radiation, smeared by relentless reports of corruption and mismanagement, also during his government. It was bad and went that far that the stock market value went upwards every time the polls showed a decrease in the chances of Dilma.
On October 26 the curtain fell: another 4 years of the same? Probably an even slower pace in Brazil’s progression.