Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva used a four-letter word during a speech on government investment in basic sanitation, in São Luiz, capital of the northeastern state of Maranhão. The protocol breach happened at the signing ceremony of contracts under the program My House, My Life.
Throughout the speech, Lula said that no other government has made so many investments in sanitation and used an expletive to refer to the poverty of the people.
"I don't want to know if João Castelo belongs to the PSDB. Or if somebody else belongs to the PFL. I don't want to know if the belong to the PT. I want to know if the people are in the shit and I want to get the people out of the shit they are in. This is the concrete fact,"Â said the president.
After applause and laughter from the audience, the president noticed his own tongue slip and tried to justify what he had just said. "Of course I said a swearword here. Tomorrow, the commentators of the major newspapers will say that Lula spoke a four-letter word, but I am aware that they speak more swearwords every day than I do and I am aware of how poor people live in this country.
"And that's why we want to change the history of this country. Changing the history of this country is not writing a new book, is actually writing a new history including the poor as Brazilian citizens."
Lula also said that the winner of the 2010 election will be he who is committed to the poorest. "This is who I think will win," added Lula. After Lula finished talking, the audience began shouting the name of the minister, Dilma Rousseff, Lula's chief of staff, chosen by him to be Workers Party candidate to the presidency.
Earlier, Lula had argued that the PMDB party should complete the ticket contributing with the vice president. He said the party should indicate, by March, three vice president names so that the minister can choose her favorite.
In emphasizing his investments in basic sanitation, Lula needled his predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. "What we're investing in sanitation in Maranhão this year and till the end of 2010 is more than all that the previous government invested in all of Brazil," he said. The president later used irony in a clear reference to Cardoso, a world renowned scholar. "I know people belonging to the cream in this country who haven't gone to college."