The recent presidential election in Brazil placed the country at a dangerous crossroads: either continue down the path of fascism or choose a leader who has proven to believe in democracy and inclusion.
How amazing it feels to write that the latter won.
Albeit with a small margin, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) won.
50,90% of Brazilians said they had enough of Jair Bolsonaro’s divisive, hateful, and violent policies. They are done seeing Bolsonaro dehumanise Brazil’s minorities and its poorer population, they’re done with overt homophobia and misogyny. This is why we’re seeing what we’re seeing on the streets of Brazilian cities: tears, dancing, and a sense of joyful hope.
As Lula said in his victory speech, the Brazilian people have chosen not him, but a specific vision of a country they want to be part of:
This is not a victory for me or for the PT (Workers Party), it is a social movement that has been formed over the politicians so that democracy could win. The majority said they want more democracy and not less, more social inclusion and not less, more respect and understanding, and not less; they are asking for more freedom, fraternity, and equality in our country.
One quick article couldn’t summarize what a phenomenon Lula is as a political leader, how unlikely his road to the Brazilian presidency has been, and what injustice he had to suffer in the past years.
But he is not looking into the past.
He is looking into the future.
As someone who has lived in Brazil and seen some of its most turbulent political developments, I must say I am looking into the future, too, with the hope that so many Brazilians share.
It’s not only because of what Bolsonaro represents. It’s also because Lula has proven himself to care for the Brazilian people over and over again, and not just its elite.
In so many of my articles, my hope is hidden. Not in this one though.
Now, I do hope the transition of power in Brazil goes peacefully and Bolsonaro doesn’t encourage his supporters to keep on blocking the roads and trying to disrupt the very functioning of the country.
What Brazil needs is healing, peace, and bridging the hateful divisions that, unfortunately, need a lot of work.
Thankfully, if there is one person who is equipped to take on this task, that is Lula.
”There are no Brazils”, Lula continued in his victory speech. “We are one people, one nation.”
Listen to my episode covering the political turbulence of the last five years in Brazil here: