The celebration atmosphere of Lula’s inauguration is dampened by the loss of soccer great Pelé, which is also overshadowed by the threat of terrorism.
Although Brazil’s people are more viciously divided than ever, the new president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is given the opportunity to take office again during a brief period of national harmony.
Sadness, unfortunately, acts as the glue. Less than three days will pass before the football legend Pelen fatal after Lula’s inauguration on Sunday.
But on Thursday, Rio de Janeiro’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue was illuminated in yellow and green in honor of Pelé. Outgoing president and far-right Jair Bolsonaro has adopted the jerseys and national colors of the Brazilian soccer team as symbols.
After Pelé passed away at the age of 82 at a hospital in So Paulo, the white Christ the Redeemer monument atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro was illuminated yellow-green on Thursday night. Photograph by Mauro Pimentel/AFP
Bolsonaro is not anticipated at Lula’s inauguration, despite the fact that the president’s armband of the same color has been personally passed over from the outgoing to the incoming. He celebrates the New Year at Donald Trump’s Florida resort Mar-a-Lago with his true partner.
Evidently, Lula’s inauguration is unaffected by the three-day national mourning period; rather, it effectively ends there. Pelé’s funeral will only begin on Monday, and he will be buried on Tuesday, of course, due to the inauguration.
Sunday’s national celebration of Lula is scheduled to draw 300,000 attendees, the brightest music singers in the nation, and a large food fair. The entertainment side would be restricted owing to the earthquake remained unknown on Friday.
According to the schedule, the final act hits the stage at three in the morning. He goes by the artist name Isopeppu-Valesca and performs Favela funk music.
Former Lula, a well-liked and gruff-voiced metalworker and union leader, was chosen as Brazil’s president for the third time in history in October. The seasons before that spanned the period from 2003 to 2010. At 77 years old, he is now the oldest person to hold office.
In the second round of voting, Lula defeated Bolsonaro by a historically meager margin of 1.8 percentage points.
Bolsonaro hasn’t even openly admitted to losing, much less thanked Lula. He has, however, kept unusually reticent since the election, suggesting that he is content with his lot. However, a sizable portion of his fans continue to believe in unfounded charges of election fraud, and the most fervent have been camped out at the garrisons’ gates for several months calling for an army takeover.
Bolsonaro, who was defeated in the election, has vanished like ashes in the wind.
Heavy security measures are put in place during inaugurations, and carrying a weapon in Brazil is currently forbidden.
A Bolsonaro supporter was detained by the police over the weekend on terrorism-related allegations. This one admitted to detonating explosives in a gasoline truck close to the airport in Brasilia on Christmas Eve in order to create havoc during the inauguration and convince the military to overthrow the civilian government.
The suspect informed the news agency Reuters that he wanted to stop “the fall of communism in Brazil” under Lula. Weapons were discovered in the suspect’s residence.
Since the previous regime’s demise 12 years ago, Lulan, the largest nation in Latin America has seen significant change. Brazil has undoubtedly become more conservative despite Bolsonaro’s defeat in the election. Even if Lula is still a titan of the global left, his halo has lost some of its luster.
The last time, Lula was able to take advantage of the early-millennium boom in raw materials, which made Brazil wealthy after exports were suspended, particularly to China. Through the social programs his government funded, an estimated 20 million Brazilians were pulled out of poverty. Brazil gained international attention when it was able to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics while Lula was president.
When Lula turned over the president to Dilma Rousseff after serving the maximum of two terms in a row, the public’s support was still unwavering. Barack Obama, who was president of the United States at the time, referred to Lula as the most well-liked politician in the world.
The state is no longer able to provide comparably significant subsidies because of a lack of funding, and Lula has the obstinate mark of corruption on his person.
For his 12-year corruption sentence, which was reversed last year, Lula served a year and a half in prison. The Supreme Court believed that Lula’s conviction had been unfairly handed down by the lower court. The fact that the criminal allegations on which Lula was found guilty were not really evaluated by the Supreme Court, however, left many Brazilians with some degree of skepticism.
The Workers’ Party (PT), which lost to Bolsonaro’s PL party in the congressional elections held in conjunction with the presidential elections, has been struck by corruption allegations more severely than Lula. In important states, Bolsonaro’s right-wing supporters also won gubernatorial elections.
As a result, the changes cannot be as left-wing and liberal as Lula would undoubtedly prefer because he is forced to seek support from the political center. This was clear even before the elections since Geraldo Alckminin, a former governor of So Paulo with a business-minded attitude, served as Lula’s vice presidential nominee.
Due to all of this, there is a significant risk that Lula will succeed in infuriating not only Bolsonaro’s supporters with his policies, but also his own fans, i.e. the poor in distant places, for whom he is still a great hero but who will likely be let down by unrealistic expectations.
Lula has set restoring Brazil’s reputation as one of his major objectives. As president, Bolsonaro showed no restraint in his loud remarks, the coronavirus’s spread, or the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which can be attributed to illegal mining, grazing areas, and cultivations. Instead, less rainforest was removed annually during Lula’s final season.
The aspect of Lula’s rise to power that excites the rest of the world the most is whether he can halt the destruction of the Amazon caused by climate change before it is too late.
Many people at home are more interested in how Lula, for instance, tightens the gun regulations Bolsonaro repealed, which have increased the number of firearms in civilian hands by twofold, or how Lula steps in when police brutality breaks out, which Bolsonaro looked down on.
In Brazil, where police kill over 6,000 people annually—many times more than they do, for instance, in the United States—the majority of these fatalities are black.