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The social fracture that the new government of Lula da Silva will have to face


The president will have to negotiate with the center right to straighten out a Brazil that is far from the bonanza of 20 years ago.

Twenty years have passed since 2003, when the arrival of a trade unionist to the government was inaugurated with great impact. That “Lula moment” was foundational, but be careful, it was also a unique moment. The man today is the same, the circumstances are different.

President Fernando Henrique Cardoso gave him a stabilized democracy, an orderly economy open to the world, playing in “the big leagues” with strategic allies who endorsed the idea of ​​the transition that the intellectual-President imagined.

The country was full of hope, the economy accompanied the access of new sectors to progress: Lula was the symbol of social ascent that linked the northeast and industry of São Paulo, making possible the country’s dream on the path to integration and development.

That hope now does not exist. after ringing affairs, with judicial disputes included, Lula returns because Bolsonaro came to become a danger to democracy and to the institutions. Bolsonarismo, “a tropical trumpismo”, had been incorporated into the broad space made up of i-liberalism, to which most elective authoritarianisms adhere, which add the violation of the law, threats to the press and the incorporation into a space that adds to what is usually called the “global south”, in contrast to Western civilization, always willing to ignore borders and sovereignties.

Internally, the political and social fracture promoted by Bolsonaro was visible at the polls. With great effort, Lula recovered the initiative among his old supporters: progressive urban sectors and the historical beneficiaries of his active social policies that gave him victory in most of the Northeastern states.

“Dad is back,” reads the banner carried by a protester this Sunday in Brasilia, during the inauguration of Lula da Silva. Photo: AP


The meager victory forced Lula to seek alliances with legislators, because without them he will not be able to carry out some of his promises, especially social laws.

In parallel, a large part of the transition was marked by the formation of a cabinet made up of a group of loyal sixties and new additions that in many cases collided with each other.

One example, the commitment against the deforestation policy promoted by Bolsonaro, was reflected in the incorporation as minister of a champion of environmentalism and the protection of the Amazon, Marina Silva, who shares the cabinet with a Minister of Agriculture from Mato Grosso , distant from environmentalism.

Brazil is starting a new political cycle in conditions very different from the first “Lula moment”. It is a country where the industry lost prominence, became “prioritized”, and where the agribusiness lobby achieved an inescapable power of proposal and veto.

Lula da Silva and his vice president, Geraldo Alckmin, who will be a central figure in his government.  Photo: AFP

Lula da Silva and his vice president, Geraldo Alckmin, who will be a central figure in his government. Photo: AFP

It is a country where the military structures have reached a projection unknown since the return of democracy, which radiates to State Companies and police structures. Without a doubt, Bolsonaro founded a military party whose power and influence cannot be ignored. also the president Lula will receive a strategically devalued country that suffers the loss of international leadership.

The bad legacy of Bolsonarismo in foreign policy matters is the result of incompetent and ideologized foreign ministers, who deviated from the old diplomatic tradition that allowed Brazil to add the invaluable support of allies and partners for whom Brazil aroused trust and safety.

Finally a not minor fact. The transition and the transfer of government would not have been effectively achieved without the invaluable contribution of Vice President Geraldo Alckmin.

The former governor of San Pablo played a decisive role when the cerril Bolsonarismo threatened a strategy of tension. Experience, connections and pragmatism have triumphed and from now on this prominent figure of the São Paulo elite is a man who will play a decisive role in the second “Lula moment”.

Carlos Pérez Llana is a sociologist, an expert in International Relations


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