I am what you would call a "proud Brazilian". But not today. Not that this particularly Thursday had anything special to it. But I recently signed up for the daily edition of "O Globo", the leading Brazilian newspaper, on my new Kindle - absolutely great purchase by the way!
So as I take the Uptown 2 train to SIPA, I come across a never-ending stream of abhorrent headlines. Then I remember the approaching presidential elections scheduled for this coming Sunday, October 3rd.
May I add here that I will be unable to vote because – totally logical reason – the deadline to register to vote outside of Brazil was in MAY! Who cares that I got to NYC one month ago. “You can register as soon as the polls close on Sunday,” the Consulate phone operator told me.
So we are back on the redline. The articles read like a “who’s who” of political scum – or twisted comedy. Let’s start with Cid Gomes, Ceará’s current governor.
Apparently his name came up during a public debate between contestants for the state’s leading office (even though any conversation involving adjectives like “thief” and “son a b****” can hardly be described as a debate…).
To nobody’s surprise, one of the debaters was Mr. Gomes brother himself, Ciro Gomes, who, in turn, was attacked based on his brother’s misuse of government funds for private trips to NYC and Europe. Obviously the accusations were vehemently denied, with replies like “seu mentiroso vagabundo”, “ladrão safado” and the like (sorry, no translation here).
Little side note, “an insider” posted videos of Mr. Gomes and his family and friends vacationing in private jets and limo rides in NYC.
Brazilian TV Globo also has footage on Mr. Gomes luxurious stays during a mini-European, “officially business”, trip, in the company of his wife, mother-in-law, and two Secretaries and their wives. Amongst the troupe’s hotels feature Edinburg’s Rocco Forte Balmoral – a historical building neighboring one of the British Royal family’s castles – and Hyatt Park’s London Hilton.
Don’t forget, in both trips, the governor flew WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS on a private jet – ALL PAID WITH PUBLIC MONEY. The costs for the accommodations and “plain tickets” to Europe cost Ceará an estimated U$250,000.
If you anyone is interested in Mr. Gomes’ sorry attempt at justifying:
I sincerely hope some 192 million+ compatriots share my indignation.
ps: there was so much to say on Mr. Gomes today, that I find it better to leave this post as it is...No need to add, for example, that Mr. President Luíz Inácio "Lula" da Silva himself was flagged for publicly insulting a presidential candidate, Mr. José Serra, by calling him “um cara de pau” – surprise, surprise, Mr. Serra is Dilma Rousseff (Lula’s favorite) main contender.