I spoke of him last week. But, not
all was said. Our President, Lula, is so quick that I can't
keep up. To stay current with his nonsense, only an entire news
staff. This, for example, had escaped me. The one to catch it
was journalist Elio Gaspari.
On the 19th
of last month, in an event in São Paulo, he cried out: "In any
part of the world I visit, I have to deposit flowers at the national hero's
grave. Brazil doesn't have that."
On the 29th
of June, in opening the Human Rights National Conference, he had said: "Poor
is the nation that relies on heroes to defend its dignity. Poor is the nation
that relies on martyrs to defend freedom or that relies on the dead to defend
The Supreme Ignoramus
needs to make up his mind. After all, do we or do we not need heroes? In his
own uncultured way, he ended up citing a Stalinist. A quote by Brecht was
put in his mouth, and he regurgitated it without having a clue as to what
it referred to.
He had done the same in
England when mentioning the Webb brothers, never imagining the colossal forgery
he was alluding to. Brecht, in case one can't recall, was that German communist
who praised the proletarian revolution in his theater, while making royalty
deposits in Swiss banks.
The Webb brothers, for
those unaware, were two English communists, Sidney and Beatrice, who in 1938
wrote a colossal account about the Soviet paradise, Soviet CommunismA
We know today that they
wrote nothing. They simply signed their names on the propaganda manifesto
provided by NKVD, the Soviet secret service, later renamed KGB.
Amidst all this, Brazilian
electoral judges formulate exams to test the literacy level of candidates
to elective posts in the upcoming elections. But how can we demand literacy
from mayor or city council candidates while the nation's president is illiterate?
I'm not accusing the president
of not being capable of reading or writing. He is worse than illiterate. He
is one whoaccording to author Mário Quintana's definitioncan
read, but does not.
While ancient history
gave us Cypian, the African who defeated Hannibal, in Zama, in northern Africa,
contemporary times bestow us a prank, in bad taste.
History repeats itself
as farce, as that XIX century prophet used to say. Lula, the African, believes
in defeating hunger by establishing relations with the poorest continent on
Earth. He claims that Brazil's intentions are not only to export to Africa,
but to assist in the commercial development of the countries in the continent.
Exporting is a good idea,
as long as exports are aimed at those who can pay for them.
Cape Verde, which cannot meet its meager US$ 2.5 million debt
obligation, had it forgiven.
After all, this miserable
sum doesn't pay for a twentieth of the new presidential jet of this magnificent
powerful nation that now flexes its leadership muscles in the African continent.
In Gabon, he again extended
courtesy with his fellow citizen's hat. Beyond some "r & r"
within the environs of tyrant Omar Bongo, who is commemorating 37 years in
power, Lula managed to pardon the US$ 36 million Gabonese dictatorship small
debt, a little more than half the cost of his new play toy.
Lest we forget, a month
ago he let Bolivia off, nothing less than US$ 100 million. Only a few are
capable of such generosity. The road is now paved to subsidize the guru of
Latin America's left wingers, Fidel Ruz Castro, who will certainly be worthy
of a fatter booty, given that he has been running his despotic show for glorious
45 years now.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian
government doesn't pay what it owes to its own citizens. There are food voucher
recipients dying everyday, without sight of a penny they are entitled to.
They die with no hope of even their spouses or children ever receiving it.
Since 1993, the Federal
Government has owed its employees a 28.86 percent raise, which is being paid
at a snail pace to those most in need and who found themselves forced to accept
a deceitful settlement. The decisions were assented by the courts, but no
recipient has yet been reimbursed.
Employees from the Judiciary
and Legislative, with greater bargaining power, already pocketed theirs. Those
from the Executive, particularly the ones who didn't fall for that fraud of
an accord, to this day have not seen a dime of what is due.
Many people have died.
The unpaid balance has been passed on to the children or spouses, but no one
doubts that perhaps only the grandchildren will ever catch a glimpse of that
cash, that is, if the Federal or State governmentsand the payees themselvesdon't
have their memories of the debt wiped out by then.
When a private company
cannot meet its payroll, it must file for bankruptcy. If a taxpayer cannot
fulfill his/her responsibility before the IRS, the state confiscates his/her
assets. Yet, when the union falls short of its obligations, it simply puts
them on hold.
In the meantime, the leader
of a swindling government, that cannot pay its public servants, poses magnanimously
next to the small Africans across the sea.
What cannot go without
compensation, let it be clear, is the blessed legacy from former president
Fernando Henrique, the millions in retirement pensions granted to ruffians
and small crooks that one day tried to ruin the country.
Janer Cristaldohe holds a PhD from University of Paris, Sorbonneis
an author, translator, lawyer, philosopher and journalist and lives in São
Paulo. His e-mail address is email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.