The fate of the global south at the fingertips of Brazilians

Iara Vidal, Brazilian journalist for Revista Fórum.

Next Sunday (30), Brazil will decide its own destiny in the most important presidential elections since the country’s redemocratization, in the late 1980s. The electoral result that emerges from the electronic voting machines in which Brazilian voters type their preference for the candidate for the Presidency of the Republic that will govern the largest country in Latin America will have consequences for the entire Global South.

Far beyond who will lead the continental nation that is among the 10 largest global economies for the next four years, what is at stake is the future of humanity.

Brazil is a key actor in facing the climate crisis, as it is home to the Amazon Forest, the largest tropical forest in the world, which acts as the planet’s air conditioner. Preserving the Amazon standing is not a choice, it is an obligation for future generations.

Brazil exerts decisive influence in international forums where the ways to overcome the socioeconomic inequalities of nations that are in different stages of development and on the periphery of capitalism are discussed.

One of these spaces of Brazilian influence in the game of world geopolitics is the BRICS, alongside China, Russia, India and South Africa. There is willingness and space for this acronym to gain a “plus” and accept the entry of countries like Argentina and Nigeria to strengthen the alternative of acting in the global market of developing nations. In the future, it may turn the stage to strengthen the agenda of countries like Sudan. But it depends on Brazil wanting to strengthen this space of force parallel to the global North.

The Brazilian choice on Sunday is not difficult. On the one hand, the former president for two consecutive terms, 2003 to 2006 and 2007 and 2010, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, from the Workers’ Party (PT). He left office with a very high approval rating and is considered the best president Brazil has ever had. He removed Brazil from the United Nations’ Hunger Map, raised the status of Brazilian diplomacy, knew how to respect and converse with our Latin and Caribbean neighbors and with the brothers in Africa. He strengthened environmental agencies for the defense of the Amazon.

On the other hand, the current president, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, of the Liberal Party (PL), considered the worst president Brazil has ever had. Ex-captain expelled from the Brazilian Army for planning to blow up barracks in the 1990s. For 27 years he served in the federal legislature as an unimpressive deputy. He passed only two bills in that period. His mark on the tribune of the Chamber of Deputies was to deliver racist speeches; in defense of death squads; in favor of the forced sterilization of poor women, especially black women; against policies of social inclusion and racial quotas; in defense of eugenics and Nazism; against human rights and other atrocities.
He was elected president of Brazil in 2018 surfing the wave of anti-politics, anti-establishment, moral agenda and on the fringes of Donald Trump’s rise in the United States. In 2022, he is the only relevant left of the world’s extreme right.

Since taking office, he has disdained the nations of the global south and turned Brazilian diplomacy into a pathetic vet of Washington interests. In the environmental area, he destroyed conservation agencies, persecuted scientists and activists and protected deforestation and illegal mining in the Amazon. In addition to a sadistic behavior towards the native peoples, the guardians of the forest.
During the pandemic, Bolsonaro gave a shameful spectacle to the world, he denied the purchase of vaccines until he gave in to popular pressure in the face of the death of 700,000 compatriots from the disease; he advertised ineffective and anti-vaccine treatment and disdained the pain and grief of Brazilians.

The current electoral campaign is the most violent ever seen in the Brazilian democratic period. Result of the violent and authoritarian discourse and practice of a government that promoted a frightening arms campaign, which persecutes opponents and elevates them to the rank of enemies.

In addition to saving Brazil from the authoritarianism of an ignoble, evil and vile being, the Brazilian election will save the nation, its democracy and its crucial role in the geopolitical configuration that is being drawn at this moment in the world.

Brazil presides over electing Lula to be happy again. The world needs Lula elected to count on the South American giant in the geopolitical rearrangement that is underway. Developing countries, in the global South, need a country aligned with their interests and not Washington’s.

May Lula win.

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