Two weeks have passed since Lula Da Silva he was elected president of Brazil for the third time. Two weeks since Lula made the dream of half plus two million Brazilians come true, but also infuriated, or left “discouraged”, the rest of the country. “It’s like a World Cup final. Half are happy and the rest are in mourning, very sad.” A Brazilian summarizes in this way the current situation of a country in which two very opposites coexist today.
In the State of Paranalocated in the richest part of Brazil -the south-, Bolsonaro got 62% of the votes. In Curitibathe capital city of Paraná, the result is reflected in cars and apartment windows waving Brazilian flags, in stickers with the smiley face of Jair Bolsonaro and the badge “Honesty, skill and hard work!” pasted on shop windows, on the windows of some papered houses, again, with the Brazilian flag.
“This thing about flags didn’t happen before Bolsonaro, Brazilians weren’t so nationalistic. Bolsonaro brought nationalism back to Brazil,” says proud Enzo, a retiree from São Paulo who, when asked if he is a Bolsonarist, answers no, that he is not a Bolsonarist: “I am not a Bolsonarist, I am Brazilian and I did not vote communists“.
After the lockdowns
“Nao tem frango. not chicken“. The position of graze from one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of Curitiba, the Botanical Gardenexplained in Portuguese and English that they could not find chicken to fill the famous Brazilian cake, a kind of rectangular fried empanada that is sold at fairs and places on the go.
There was meat and cheese, but in those days after the second round, the chicken did not manage to cross the more than 300 blockades caused by truck drivers who are followers of Jair Bolsonaro on the entry routes of the most important cities in Brazil.
Júlia works at the pasteis stall and supports Bolsonaro, but not the blockades: “I didn’t like that they cut streets, because that affects all of Brazil, the economy.” Enzo, the retiree who is also a Bolsonaro voter, completes: “That was stupid, because it ended up affecting all of us Brazilians. A truck that blocked a road did not let an ambulance pass and the person died.” “The riots were caused by a few Bolsonaristas who made a lot of noise,” he says Cyrusa Brazilian businessman sympathetic to Lula.
Democracy, divine treasure
There seems to be another limit in which the two countries find a point of consensus within Brazil: respect for democracy. It will be because of its past -the military dictatorship lasted 21 years, from 1964 to 1985, and it was the longest in the Southern Cone-, or because of a future that they want to prevent, but the reference to democracy appears in the first lines of all conversations with Brazilians in the days after the elections, regardless of the paper they put in the ballot box.
“We are not happy with the result, but democracy is democracy, and it is respected,” answer two young Brazilian women who previously voted for Lula and now supported Bolsonaro because “he is in favor of the family, against abortion and drug legalization”. “Election day was tense but the result is what it is, because the vote was taken in a democracy and we respect democracy. It’s crap but it’s the best system,” Enzo redoubles his bet. “Lula is democracy”, closes Ciro, the businessman.
In line with the president himself, whose first reaction was not to admit defeat but to ensure that he was playing “within the limits of the Constitution“, Enzo continues to distrust the results: “There was very little difference and we are not sure that it really was the case,” he says. His wife, who prefers not to say who she voted for, has no doubt: “There were two million votes from difference, we were very discouraged but there wasn’t much to discuss.
a striped country
The results of the election put into numbers what Brazilians have been feeling for at least five years, but never as strongly as now: “The country is scratched, 50% and 50% in two totally different projects. Also by State: north the simple people vote for Lula and to the south are the richest and most conservative, where Bolsonaro won by up to ten points difference”.
In the run-up to the elections there were fights, there were fake newsThere were weapons, there were deaths. Above all fake news that today are part of the list of answers that continue to be repeated to the question: “Why did you vote for Bolsonaro?” That Lula is a dictator, that Lula stole. That she wants to establish unisex bathrooms throughout Brazil. That he is going to fill the country with drugs. That in the north they have less education and that is why they vote for Lula. That “I don’t vote communists“. That Lula favored the poorest, and forgot about those who had something.
Germano, a young man who voted for Lula but “doesn’t say it much, so as not to fight,” admits that for a month he has avoided his family, despite the fact that they made a pact not to talk about politics: “Society is divided in two but only the Bolsonaristas manifested themselves,” he says. He is not the only Brazilian who brought the World Cup final to the family table.
After the known results, they agree that the most tense climate is no longer in the streets, but it was concentrated in social networks: “I left many groups of WhatsApp and decided to stop posting about politics on instagram, because I am not going to convince anyone there. I only upload pictures of my kittens and my plants,” she says.
A double edged alliance
In addition to taking office in a country split in half, Lula has another great challenge behind closed doors: organizing his own coalition, this time, to govern. It is that one of the strategies to win the elections was to create a broad alliance that began on his left and extended to the center-right.
To iron out rough edges with the economic power, Lula resurrected his historical adversary Geraldo Alckmin, the future vice president of Brazil and a former figure of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). He also allied with Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), the Communist Party of Brazil and Marina Silva Networkamong others.
Lula is more than him. workers party (PT). What I rescue from the phrases when he took office is the one he said the coalition won, “explains Ciro, the businessman from the South who sympathizes with Lula and hopes that his economy minister” is not someone who spends more than he has.
Germano, who put the same paper in the urn, is suspicious: “The center is dangerous. It is written in the Bible: I wish you were cold or hot! But because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth” , recite. Still, he makes it clear that relies on Lula’s intelligence and experience “so as not to have to vomit”.