Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So Goes Lula

In 2003 I travelled for the first time to Brazil, and our 'guide' gushed about this new president of thiers, Lula. He was 'hope and change embodied'. The first POB that came from a blue collar, working class background. Surely, he wouldn't turn into a corporatist, right?

In 2005, they were booing him in the soccer stadiums. "Greeted like a rock star in Porto Alegre in 2003 just after becoming Brazil's first working-class president, Silva was booed in 2005 by some who felt he turned into too much of a pro-business centrist once in office, despite instituting popular social welfare programs that aim to help tens of millions out of poverty in Latin America's largest nation.

Galeano said activists must try to convince Silva that "he can't abandon the path toward socialism."

But others said it's too late, because Silva has less than a year left in office before he must leave after serving two terms. And Silva himself will head to Davos for the World Economic Forum later this week, where he is to receive a special award.

Gustavo de Biase, a 22-year-old Brazilian wearing a shirt proclaiming "Socialism is Liberty," accused Lula — as Silva is commonly known — of betraying leftists by embracing capitalist economic policies as president.

"Lula held out promise for Brazil, but he didn't do what he said he'd do," de Biase said.

Here he is getting dissed in 2007:

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