By Owei Lakemfa.
The Brazilian Presidential run-off elections this Sunday, was between barbarism and civilization; the uncouth and the cultured, a return to a brutal past or the continuation of a more humane present, fascism and humanness, totalitarianism and democracy. At the close of the ballot, tragically, the former won!
Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former army captain got 55.1 percent of the votes and Fernando Haddad who posited an alternative, secured 44.8 percent. The results signal the push of Brazil down the slope. This election, for me was predictable. I have expected such a result since anti-democratic forces impeached President Dilma Vana Rousseff under the claim that she gave exaggerated figures on the state of the Brazilian economy, and replaced her on August 31, 2016, with Vice President Michel Miguel Elias Temer, who was actually facing corruption charges.
The impeachment of Rousseff was a creeping civilian coup, and a dirty Temer was a willing tool. He hoped that his ascendancy to the Presidency would stop the corruption charges. But he was a sitting duck and was so ineffectual that when some generals led by the Army Chief, General Eduardo Villas Bôas and General Antonio Hamilton Martins Mourão announced they would unseat him through a coup, he could not order their arrest.
The anti-democratic forces had a dual plan. One was to drag pro-people politicians like Rousseff and her popular predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva through the mud of corruption, create fear in the minds of the people and bankroll a fascist politician who will be presented as a saviour. The alternative plan was to carry out an outright coup d’état and roll back years of progress.
To execute their plans, Rousseff was sufficiently sidelined and Luna, jailed in controversial circumstances. They feared he could upturn their plans. When he decided to contest the Presidency from prison, again, the courts were used to knock him out of the race.
President-elect, Jair Bolsonaro is as bad as you can get; although he is a politician coming to power through the ballot box, he has no respect for democracy. In 1999 he said: “Through the vote you will not change anything in this country, right? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! You will only change, unfortunately, on the day when we begin a civil war here. And doing the job that the Military Regime didn’t do: killing thirty thousand!” His reference is to the 21 years of brutal military dictatorship during which the military murdered hundreds of people with at least 234 activists disappearing without trace. It had also detained over 50,000 persons without trial with over 10,000 Brazilians, forced to flee into exile. One of the victims was former President Rousseff who was tortured and imprisoned from 1970 to 1972. When families of some of the disappeared were searching for the remains of their loved ones, an insensitive Bolsonaro issued a poster: “Those that look for bones are dogs.”
During the campaigns, Bolsonaro returned to this theme of employing violence to further political objectives: “If some innocents die, alright; in every war innocent people die. I would even be happy if I died as long as thirty thousand others died together with me. The situation of the country would be better today if the dictatorship had killed more people.”
Bolsonaro will be an elected President, but intends to employ illegal tactics including torture, murder and terror in running the country. He proudly declared: “I’m pro-torture, and the people are too.” In February 2000 he had made a similar declaration: “I defend torture. A drug dealer who acts on the streets against our children must immediately be put on a pau-de-arara (a pole) There would be no human rights in this case. There would be pau-de-arara, beating. The same thing for kidnappers. The guy must be broken to open his mouth.” He is also for nepotism. In a March 5, 2007 debate on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban nepotism in the public sector, he said: “Competence? It’s a problem for each Deputy. If I want to hire a prostitute for my office, I’ll hire her. If I want to hire my mother, I’ll hire her. It’ll be my problem.” His idea of fighting crime is for every citizen to have a gun at home.
Bolsonaro, a bragging racist, does not believe that all Brazilians should have equal rights. Although Blacks are 54 percent of the Brazilian population, he does not think they count for anything. He argued: “What historic debt do we have with blacks? I never enslaved them. The Portuguese never set foot in Africa. The blacks were delivered by blacks. They don’t do anything. I don’t think they’re even good for procreation anymore” Asked how he would react if one of his sons dated a black woman, he said: “I won’t discuss promiscuity. I don’t run that risk because my sons were very well educated.”
He also thinks women are lesser human beings. When a Congresswoman, Maria do Rosario accused him of inciting rape, he retorted: “I’m not going to rape you, because you’re very ugly.” He was to say: “I’ve got five kids but on the fifth I had a moment of weakness and it came out a woman.”
On employment of women, he lamented: “ It’s a misfortune to be a boss in our country, with so many labour laws… Between a man and a young woman, what will the entrepreneur think? ‘Damn, this woman’s got a ring on her finger, she’ll be pregnant soon, she’ll be on maternity leave for six months… Who’s going to pay the bill? The employer.”
He said of gays: “I would be unable to love a gay son. I won’t be a hypocrite here: I would prefer that my son die in an accident rather than appear with a [gay] moustache. For me, he would be dead.”
Bolsonaro is not known for morals. He said in a May 23, 1990 programme: ”It’s my advice and I do it: I evade all the taxes I can.” When Senator Marinor Brito of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) asked for an investigation into his behavior, Bolsonaro retorted: “PSOL is party of dicks and faggots. I will respond to the Senator with toilet paper.”
As Brazil goes down the hill, it is likely to constitute a clog in the wheel of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and its objective to create a New World Economic order.