As a long term foreign resident of Brazil I see the country misrepresented abroad so often. Negative coverage has been amplified in recent weeks due to the epic battle for Brazils political and economic future played out in the presidential elections as the right wing misogynistic Donald Trump(aka Jair Bolsonaro ) goes head to head with the soft bellied corrupt communist Hugo Chavez (aka Fernando Haddad) It has been a war of simplified soundbites,a tirade of accusations on both sides and tempers are frayed..thank god it will all be over on sunday!
The country is now crying out for change and that is why this outspoken,controversial,hard-line candidate is due to receive an overwhelming mandate on sunday. The western media ( in particular ) has taken aim at Bolsonaro’s right wing credentials by highlighting some of his more extreme and certainly outrageous comments regarding women,race and his bent towards military dictatorship..he is certainly not dis-similar to Mr Trump in this regard and he seems to revel in provoking and shocking for effect. However in many other respects he is a far cry from Donald Trump with a military background, untainted by scandal and with very clear concise viewpoints (he is able to put a few coherent sentences together for a start! )
A quick backdrop on the past 16 years of socialist government.
The socialist government of Lula started off with 8 years of economic growth and implemented wide social reforms to alleviate poverty, subsidizing the construction of millions of new homes for poor families and providing financial incentives to send poor kids to school, all highly praiseworthy… unfortunately the latter half of the 16 year reign has deteriorated into endemic corruption,inefficiency and mismanagement of the economy.
Brazil has had and is now currently facing…
-16 years of socialist government..5 years of recession,high unemployment and stagnation
-Huge corruption scandals implicating a large number of politicians in government
-Political uncertainty and lack of confidence in the interim government over the past 2 years
-Widespread insecurity and fear among Brazilians relating to crime on the streets
Where is the change coming ? What Bolsonaro has pledged in no uncertain terms
and what this Brazilian election comes down to in a nutshell..
Economy - revitalize through the private sector, incentivizing companies and cutting red tape
Corruption - take a hardline and clamp down on corrupt practices within the political system.
Crime - get tough on criminals to make the streets safer - give resources to the police.
If Bolsonaro can follow-through and deliver on these very clear pledges then Brazil will return to prosperous and safer times.
Mike Smith..British national living in Natal,North-East Brazil for the past 13 years.