EspañolThe plan seemed flawless: celebrate the World Cup at home, win it for the sixth time, and ride on the wave of popular joy towards reelection. However, President Dilma Rousseff underestimated the state’s sluggishness in building the necessary infrastructure to meet FIFA’s standards, as well as middle-class frustration over lower purchasing power, and the sheer opportunism of several labor unions.
It’s been over a year of ongoing protests by rallying groups of all ideological stripes against the government’s irresponsible spending of public funds, that in the best case scenario will only bring about a sluggish economic recovery. To make things worse, the so-called progressive era of Brazilian politics has seen policies that elicit memories of the authoritarian past: from dangerous laws that put protesters at the same level of terrorists, right down to the tragicomic prohibition of hats in Rio de Janeiro’s public spaces.
In response to increasing police abuse, aggression toward journalists, and the criminalization of protests, Amnesty International just launched a campaign condemning the Brazilian government. The NGO calls for visitors to show Rousseff’s administration a yellow card by signing a petition to demand authorities respect the right to assembly and free speech.
In fact, little is going as planned for the incumbent Workers Party (PT). They’ve gone out of the frying pan and into the fire recently over a new corruption scandal that goes all the way up to President Rousseff.
There’s a slogan floating around social media that is becoming more and more prophetic with every passing week: “there will be a World Cup, but not a reelection.” Instead, Rousseff is more likely to get the red card from the Brazilian people in November.