Ashamed of her world famous son's bad manners, who was so impolite to refer to the Brazilian leader in a newspaper interview as illiterate, rude and tacky, a mother is calling this Monday, November 16,Â president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to apologize in her own name and in the name of her whole family.
She is going to tell Lula that she doesn't agree with what the son said. The woman is 102-year-old Dona Canô, a dear friend of the president, the matriarch of the Vellosos and the mother of singer composer Caetano Veloso (with one l in the last name to differentiate from the rest of the family), the bad-mannered renowned person mentioned above.
Caetano, who has been a Lula voter and defender in the past, belittled the president during an interview with daily O Estado de S. Paulo, when the singer-composer revealed he would vote for Marina Silva from the Green Party in the next presidential election and took the chance to compare Marina to Lula.
On Friday, talking during an event in Santo Amaro da Purificação, in the state of Bahia, and the place where Caetano was born and his family lives, Rodrigo Velloso, the composer's brother, made his own act of contrition and apologized in the name of the family for the offending words.
Dona Canô says that she still doesn't know what she will tell the president and that she just will talk whatever comes to her mind at the moment. "If he answers my call I will talk to him. I am going to tell him whatever I'm feeling at that moment."
She isn't sure she will be able to talk to the president though. As she reminded reporters she has already attempted to talk to Lula in the past without success: "I tried to talk to him the day of his birthday, but I didn't succeed. He is very busy."
Dona Canô, however, doesn't seem surprised at what her son put everybody up to. She knows her boy can be impulsive, and as she puts it she is not the one who is going to pull his ears.
"He will pull his own ears," she says, "because he knows the president doesn't deserve that." As for Lula she commented on the fondness she feels for him. "I'm very fond of Lula. It was an uncalled for offense. Caetano had no need to say that. He votes in Lula if he wishes, you don't need to offend or to look for trouble," added Caetano's mother.
Rodrigo Velloso, who is Secretary of Culture in Santo Amaro, considered the offensive words an absurd, but blamed them on Caetano's knack to cause controversy. In an interview with daily A Tarde from Salvador, the capital of Bahia, he stated:
"Caetano has this habit of saying things without thinking and then ends up saying things like this. He talked in a prejudiced way. I though it was insane. I felt offended."
Rodrigo revealed that Caetano's words came two days after Lula had heeded a request from Dona Canô who had asked the president to save the Santa Casa de Misericórdia (Holy House of Mercy), a local hospital that was in danger of closing its doors. The president told Bahia's Health secretary to help the place.Â
Lula has referred several times to Caetano's words. On Friday, during a speech on the development of Brazil at the opening of the 9th National Congress of Scientific Initiation, at the FMU university, in São Paulo, he resorted to Latin to poke fun at the Baiano musician: "Education is a sine-qua-non condition for growth. I say sine qua non because, if Caetano Veloso says sine qua non, Lula also can talk like that." He public laughed strepitously.
Lula had already said earlier: "There are people who think intelligence is linked to the years of schooling you have. There is nothing more asinine than this."
Veloso when interviewed by Sônia Racy from the cultural section of O Estado de S. Paulo had talked about his intention to back presidential candidate Marina Silva:
"I cannot avoid voting for her. She is too strong, symbolically, for me not to be jolted.Â Marina is Lula and is Obama at the same time. She is a little black, she is cabocla (mestizo), she is intelligent as Obama,Â she is not illiterate as Lula, who cannot speak, is tacky when talking, rude. She talks well," the singer stated.