This year’s Carnival fell very close to the doldrums of January. Even those who don’t take breaks at this time know that the city is in the midst of school holidays, apocalyptic heat and outrageous floods. Compromising with Carnival means having to recognize that the year will start earlier than expected. Furthermore, King Momo’s revelry doesn’t happen in just any year. 2024 is marked by the confluence between the aftermath of the pandemic, a year of Lula’s government and the Tempus Veritatis operation.
Although we like to believe that the suffering related to the virus is over, it is always good to remember that the time for elaborating the unconscious does not follow the calendar. It’s been two years since the pandemic left us, but its damage is still felt in the mourning of loved ones, in the economic collapse, in the delayed development of children and young people, in the irreversible changes in the use of technology for good and for bad.
We will still need to listen to young people who spent crucial years without the necessary interaction with their peers, as well as children who saw their social skills reduced by the lack of stimulation. The trauma is all the greater the more we try to ignore it. We will have to keep the conversation open about this period in which relationships were stressed to the maximum, leading to early marriages and divorces, and a lot of domestic violence.
As for the change of government, we are at its anticlimax. Years of fighting against the worst president we had allowed us to get the goat out of the room, but the problems that preceded him remain firm and strong. Hope in Lula comes up against the combination of the post-Bolsonaro/pandemic reality, the political forces at work in Congress today and, well, Lula himself.
As we know, one of the most skillful politicians in our history can be atrociously pragmatist. Some characters from the iconic ramp climb fell early on in his tenure. We rightly celebrate its arrival, but we experience the paradox that the initial relief is not accompanied by the right to relax, as democracy among us appears to be an eternal future.
Regarding Operation Tempus Veritatis, launched during the Carnival gathering, it is no longer just about undoing the wrongdoing, but about going a step further. If the convictions are judged fairly and on benches, Brazil can advance in unprecedented territory. It is about getting out of the moral quagmire that defines it as a country of impunity. The country that failed to hold accountable people linked to arbitrary actions, torture and murders during the dictatorship and that makes deals to spare the military has a new chance now.
The Truth Commission did a herculean job that cost Dilma Rousseff the presidency of the Republic. Although her government was problematic, we know that impeachment depends less on what governments do wrong than on the political broth that supports them. With each new piece of news, Rousseff never tires of being vindicated.
The Special Commission on Political Deaths and Disappearances (Cemdp), extinguished at the end of Bolsonaro’s misrule, awaits its reinstatement as required since the inauguration of human rights minister Silvio Almeida. There is something that the Lula government should invest in at a special moment in which the wheat can be separated from the chaff. The public demoralization of bad fighters must be taken up by those who have real reasons to be proud to wear the uniform.
Brazil can live up to the term Carnival country in terms of its democratic, popular, public, optimistic and festive aspects. But to do so, you will have to face your “moment of truth”.
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