Something fundamental in Brazilian history is at stake in the second round of the current presidential campaign: our first popular, democratic and peaceful revolution, realized through the vote, with the assumption to the Presidency of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; Lula. It was not only a change of power but a change of social class. A representative of the impoverished and permanently marginalized reached the highest office of the nation. It was the fruit of the Labor Party, PT, (from its Portuguese name), its allies and the great combination of social movements and unions, and it has been furthered by Dilma Rousseff.
As the noted historian Jose Honorio Rodrigues said in his Conciliation and Reform in Brazil, (Conciliación y Reforma en Brasil, 1965): «the interests of the people were neglected by the leaders; hence the struggles, the rebellions, the bloody history, the commitment and conciliation. We have never had a revolution in the sense of transforming the economic structure, the land regime, the change of social relations. Given her disappointing leaders, the great success of the history of Brazil is her people».
Jose Honorio continues: «the victories of the people are objective and indisputable;… Brazil owes to the people political unity, territorial integration, crossbreeding, racial tolerance, religious homogeneity, psychosocial integration, an alive national sensibility that demands "abrasileramiento" of all foreign contributions» (p.121-122).
This revolution was inaugurated with Lula and Dilma, and it is not yet finished, but it must be consolidated and deepened. Let’s hope that these elections are not badly wasted by the victory of one who represents the old oligarchical politics, more interested in economic growth, the market and alignment with the globalized macro-economy, than in the destiny of millions of people lifted from poverty by the republican policies, and transformed into social subjects, who participate in society.
That is why it is important that Dilma wins, to guarantee, consolidate and enrich that inaugural revolution with a new cycle of transformations.
At the start of colonization, the official chronicler Pero Vaz de Caminha wrote that here «whatever is planted produces». The five centuries of history, still in the light of the European paradigm, show the truth of that claim. Here everything can produce and be produced to fill the table to satisfy the hunger of the whole world. What would preclude a New-Brazil-project, democratic, social, popular, ecological, ecumenical and spiritual?
The Brazilian people became accustomed «to confronting life» and to getting everything «in the struggle», that is, with difficulty and much effort. Why then would the Brazilian people not confront this great and final challenge that lies in their path? How can they not conquer it «with courage and strength», with a solidarian consciousness, and organization, in order to guarantee the power of the state, which already has 12 years, to infuse it with the true sense of forging the necessary changes, primarily for the most forgotten, and then for everyone, giving them sustainability, and guaranteeing for them a good future for the country?
That path has already been traversed, although much remains to be finished. Twice have newcomers assumed the centers of power. Fewer and fewer are the means by which the dominant elites can return to power, with their neoliberal project that has ruined the major countries and thrown a hundred million people in Europe and the United States out of work.
We associate with the lyrics of, The saga of the Amazon, by singer Vital Faria: «Only he is a singer who carries within the smell and the color of his land/ the blood stain of his dead/ and the certainty of the struggle of those who live». That struggle, we hope, will be victorious. The country will flourish in the splendor of her multicolored people, like our landscapes, that enchant our eyes. The words of a union leader in the somber days of the submission are on point: «They can cut one, two, or all the flowers, but they cannot prevent the arrival of spring».
The spring is already well advanced. And with the spring sun we want to celebrate the victory of the majority of the Brazilian people, by reelecting Dilma Rousseff.
If it cannot be now, the challenge will remain for the future. What must come to be has strength, and the day, that blessed day, will come, when it will be triumphant.
– Leonardo Boff, Theologian-Philosopher / Earthcharter Commission
Free translation from the Spanish by Servicios Koinonia, http://www.servicioskoinonia.org. Done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.