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Brazzil - Politics - August 2004

Brazil, a Nation Without Heroes

Brazil produces saints at a higher rate than the Catholic Church,
which requires that he/she has performed at least two miracles.
In Brazil no miracles are necessary. As soon as we entered into
a new century, two ruffians who fought for the destruction of
our country are made into two people who built our history.

Janer Cristaldo

Carlos Heitor Cony

Picture He is great. Last Monday, while participating in the campaign "The Best of Brazil is the Brazilian", President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said the country does not revere its heroes, only sports idols, and that our nation's youth needs references. His intention is to promote Brazilian self-esteem.

To kick off the campaign, four TV commercials, newspaper and magazines ads, and spots on radio were created at no cost, highlighting examples of noted and anonymous individuals, who overcame obstacles to become successful… like soccer player Ronaldinho.

While claiming that Brazil doesn't worship heroes, only sports idols, Lula maintains that Brazil is a country without heroes, with the exception of Pelé, Ayrton Senna, and other athletes.

Whereas before it would take the President two to three days to contradict himself, today—in an extraordinary performance—he has done so in a matter of two to three seconds.

"We don't have the symbols that every country does," he went on, "because for some time this nation believed it was possible to live without references." I believe we have an obligation to contribute to the development of a new era in the life of our nation."

That said, he left to watch the movie Olga, by Jayme Monjardim, at the Palácio Alvorada, the presidential residence. He then said that the history of communist militants Olga Benário and Luiz Carlos Prestes was important, at a time when his administration is investing in Brazilian self-esteem and political education.

If the best of Brazil is the Brazilian, who is this lady whose biography is so important, as the government promotes citizen self-esteem? In case someone doesn't know, Olga is a Jewish German communist, who climbed to the post of Red Army Officer, and came to Brazil under Moscow's command to protect Luiz Carlos Prestes, this other great Brazilian hero, who fought his whole life to mold the country down to a dictatorship, in accordance to the best Soviet models.

Camila Morgado, the actress in the role of Olga, said that the politicians in attendance were much moved. "They were watching a movie that also shows two people who contributed to our history."

The other day, I made the statement that Brazil produces saints at a higher rate than Pope John Paul II. The Vatican canonizes someone only when it has been proven that he/she has performed at least two miracles.

In this self-esteemed Brazil of ours no miracles are necessary. Dying does the job. As soon as we turned the corner into a new century, two ruffians—who fought for the destruction of our country—are made into two people who built our history.

That same week, another widower gave a unique contribution to Brazilian self-esteem. This time, the honors belonged to Minister Aldo Rabelo, from PC do B (Communist Party of Brazil), who cited Mao Tse Tung, during an address to his office staff and employees.

"Keep up modesty and prudence, avoid arrogance, and keep up the arduous battle."

It was by avoiding arrogance and keeping up modesty, prudence and the arduous battle that this extraordinary humanist managed to carry out the greatest massacre of the last century: 65 million Chinese people.

Stalin, the spiritual master of this fabulous Brazilian who energizes our sense of self-esteem—Luiz Carlos Prestes—, less modest and prudent, managed to exterminate only 20 million.

The communists, or journey comrades, who hold power in Brazil today, always remind me of one of the most beautiful movies by Kubrick, Dr. Strangelove.

The German scientist, recycled by the Americans in order to build the atomic bomb, even on a wheelchair, never does away with his Nazi reflexes. Every so often he is forced to use his left arm to control his right, which insists on rising, in salute to the Fuhrer.

A month doesn't go by in this unfortunate nation without Lula and his ministers raising one hypothetical arm in salute to tyrannies of the last century.

Well, some less informed reader may say, since we live in a democratic regime, it doesn't matter that our leaders evoke heroes from their youth, in a momentary lapse.

That is not the problem. It just so happens, that no matter how demoralized such heroes are, they constitute the foundation of the enormous fabrication upon which PT (Workers' Party) and other left-wing parties grew from.

Mao, Stalin, Castro, Prestes, Olga, Marighela, Lamarca, and so many others represent tutoring saints who guarantee obscene retirements that provide comfort and spiritual tranquility to their partisans today.

The sanctity and heroism of these formidable scoundrels need to be reminded at all times, or else the nation may forget that their followers are heroes, and not barbaric terrorists.

The millions in retirement pensions for Lula's chief of staff José Dirceu or writer Carlos Heitor Cony can only survive as long as this deception is in effect.

On the day the nation comes to the realization that these icons—idolized by the Left—were none but great assassins, the perks of thousands of communists who tried to destroy the country would be viewed as an award to ignominy.

Therefore, every now and then, it pays to evoke the divinities that assure us our everyday scotch whiskey.

The immortal (in Brazil members of the Brazilian Academy of letters are called immortals) Carlos Heitor Cony, for example, began receiving a miserly R$ 19,000 (approximately US$ 6,000), for disservices rendered to the country.

It's a sum to cheer up the self-esteem not only of immortals, but also any mere mortal. The claims for damages and compensation by militants, barred from leading the nation into tyranny and misery, already add up to 43 thousand. It is estimated that such compensations may reach up to four billion reais (close to US$ 1.3 billion).

Furthermore: those granted with this generosity from our government are exempt from income tax. Income tax is for people who work and support these maharajas (common term used in Brazil to allude to royals who live off the common people's sacrifices).

Since the funds to reward these criminals must come from somewhere, the government has forayed into the pockets of retirees. It started with a 30 percent assault to their pensions. Insatiable, it wants another 11 percent contribution from those inactive.

Yet, it still anticipates a tiny little increment in income tax in the coming months, to a 35 percent bracket. The heroes that this kind of nation worships cannot afford to deprive themselves of a hint of self-esteem. An extra fifteen reais (around US$ 5) to the monthly minimum wage? No way. That would break Social Security .

In no other country in the world, and that includes the late USSR, has being a communist turned out so lucrative.

In all honesty, this self-esteem movement to rescue our native nomenclature was originally put in place by former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Curiously, as we speak of cursed legacy, the Lula administration never includes in this concept the dreadful burden that empties the pockets of defenseless inactive retirees, in an effort to pamper the ruffians under Moscow's, Beijing's, and Havana's instructions.

The best of Brazil is not exactly the Brazilian. The best of Brazil is to be a communist in Brazil.

Janer Cristaldo—he holds a PhD from University of Paris, Sorbonne—is an author, translator, lawyer, philosopher and journalist and lives in São Paulo. His e-mail address is cristal@baguete.com.br.
Translated from the Portuguese by Eduardo Assumpção de Queiroz. He is a freelance translator, with a degree in Business and almost 20 years of experience working in the fields of economics, communications, social and political sciences, and sports. He lives in Boca Raton, FL. His email: eaqus@adelphia.net.

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