To understand the victory of Dilma Rousseff
In this Presidential election, Brazilian men and women confronted the Biblical scene spoken of in Psalm Number One: they had to choose between two paths: one representing success and possible happiness, and the other, error and inevitable unhappiness.
The conditions were in place for a perfect storm, with distortions and slanders spread in the mass media and social networks. One magazine in particular seriously transgressed journalistic, social and personal ethics, publishing falsehoods to undermine candidate Dilma Rousseff. Behind it all were the most backward elites, striving above all to defend their privileges, rather than to universalize personal and social rights.
Facing these adversities, President Dilma, who endured torture in the dungeons of the repressive organs of the military dictatorship, strengthened her image, grew in determination and gathered her energies to confront every attack. She portrayed herself as she is: a courageous and valiant woman. She emanates confidence, a fundamental virtue for a politician. She displays integrity, and does not tolerate things not done well. That evokes in the electorate a sentiment of “feeling firm”.
Her victory is due in large part to the militants who took to the streets and organized great demonstrations. The people showed that it has matured in its political consciousness and knew, Biblically, how to choose the path that appeared more correct, by voting for Dilma. She was victorious with more than 51% of the votes.
The people already knew the two paths. One, tried for 8 years, enabled Brazil to grow economically, but transferred the great part of the benefits to the already well off, at the expense of depressed salaries, unemployment, and poverty for the great majorities: good policies for the rich and poor ones for the poor. Brazil was turned into a minor and subordinate player in the great global project, led by the wealthy and militaristic countries. This was not the project of a sovereign country, conscious of her human, cultural and ecological wealth, and worthy of a people that is proud of its crossbreeding and richer for all its differences.
The people have also traveled another path, the correct one for possible happiness. And the people had a central role in this. With public policies focused on the humiliated and downtrodden of our history, one of its children, a survivor of the great tribulation, Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, managed to incorporate a population equivalent to all of Argentina into a modern society. Dilma Rousseff carried on, deepened and expanded these policies, with democratizing measures such as Pronatec, Pro-Uni, the university quotas for students from public rather than private schools; quotas for students whose grandparents came from the dungeons of slavery; and all the social programs, such as Bolsa Familia, Light for All, My House, my Life, and More Doctors, among others.
The fundamental question facing our country is being addressed: to guarantee to all, but primarily to the poor, access to the goods of life, to overcome the dreadful inequality and through educational opportunities for the young, so that they may grow, develop, and be humanized, as active citizens.
That project awakened Brazil’s sense of sovereignty, and projected it onto the world scene with an independent position, demanding a new world order, where humanity discovers itself as humans inhabiting a Common Home.
The challenge for President Dilma is not only to consolidate that which is already working and correct any defects, but to inaugurate a new cycle of the exercise of power, embracing a qualitative advance in all spheres of social life. Little will be accomplished without political reform that eliminates once and for all the bases of corruption and enables an advance in representative democracy, incorporating participatory democracy, with councils, public audiences, consultation with the social movements and the other institutions of civil society. Tax reform is also urgent, to advance equality and help diminish the abysmal social inequality. Education and health care will be at the center of the concerns of this new cycle. An ignorant and sickly people will never be able to advance towards a better life. President Dilma will be obliged to address the social imperatives regarding basic sanitation, urban mobility, with minimally dignified transportation, (85% of the population live in cities), security, and combating criminality.
In the debates she proposed a broad range of changes. Through the seriousness and sense of efficacy she always has shown, we can be sure that they will take place.
There are questions that were barely mentioned in the debates, such as the importance of modern agrarian reform, that stabilizes the peasant in the country, with all the advantages that science has to offer. It is important also to demarcate and standardize the indigenous lands, many of which are threatened by the encroachment of agro-business.
The last and perhaps the main challenge comes from the realm of ecology. The future of life and of our civilization are seriously threatened, both by the man-made death machine that could eliminate all life several times over, and by the disastrous consequences of global warming. If the warming is abrupt, as entire scientific societies warn may occur, life as we know it perhaps could not continue, and a great part of humanity would be lethally affected. Given her ecological wealth, Brazil is fundamental to the equilibrium of our tortured planet. A new Dilma administration cannot not ignore this question of life or death for our human species.
May the Spirit of Wisdom and Caring guide the difficult decisions President Dilma Rousseff must make
Free translation from the Spanish sent by
Melina Alfaro, firstname.lastname@example.org,
done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.