World News: Newly Elected Brazilian President Lula Inherits a Fractured Nation

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Elected president of Brazil, Lula inherits a fractured country, torn apart by a deep social and political crisis. To which is added a most significant environmental issue, the Amazon rainforest crystallizing all passions on an international scale.

Twenty years ago, Brazil burst onto the international scene, freshly and proudly dressed in its status as the leading emerging country. Thus, in the acronym that designated these countries on the road to modernization and industrialization, Brazil was at the  top of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

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Breadbasket of cereals of the world, especially soybeans and sunflowers, space of subcontracting, even assembly for many European car manufacturers, oil exporter, Brazil established itself as an economic and diplomatic player that would even invite itself into the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program. But twenty years later, the fairy tale has turned into a sad reality: a third of Brazil's population lives below the poverty line, the social crisis that fractures the country continues unabated.

Worsen to the point that in 2018, Brazilians chose a former military, Jair Bolsonaro, to govern the country without the economic slump in which Brazil has been immersed since the 2008 crisis has not been resolved. Worse!    Social inequalities have worsened and have been   grafted onto an environmental crisis with far-reaching consequences as it has targeted the Amazon rainforest. victim of unprecedented deforestation under the Bolsonaro presidency.

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Development and Social Crisis

Yet some will  argue that Lula's election as president of the federal state will revive Brazil's democratic, economic, diplomatic, and environmental process. There   are many reasons to hope so, starting with the profile   of  a well-known man   who led Brazil on the path of development in the early two thousand years.

The satisfaction of   Brazil's partners, scalded by the Bolsonaro experience, which accompanied Lula's election, also testifies to the latter's willingness to relaunch the process in question. All the lights therefore seem green, and nothing seems to  prevent or hinder Brazil's return to the great world nations.

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Yet, contrary to the  hopes raised by Lula's victory, there are many pitfalls that stand   in front of Lula. Politically speaking, he will have to deal with 99   Bolsonarist deputies elected in the  Brazilian Congress, paving the way for a delicate governance   will push Lula to lead the  country not as the man of the left that he is but rather in a centrist logic.

From the economic point of view, weakened by  global inflation and the rise in  bank rates charged by   central banks, handicapping Brazil in   the hypothesis Lula must also seize   the social crisis in order to resolve it. More than  20% of the population, or 50 million people, live on less than $2 a day and more than a third are   below the poverty line.

In addition, the  middle class (25% of Brazilians) is  particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in the  Brazilian economy, which is largely oriented towards the export of agricultural raw materials.          

Green lung and Compromised

And what about the environmental issue? Certainly, Lula has announced a drastic reduction in deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, but reduction does not mean stopping. The development of intensive Brazilian agriculture dedicated to soybeans, sunflowers or livestock involves the slaughter of one of the green lungs of the planet.

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Therefore, the challenges facing the new president are indeed immense because they will impose many compromises that Lula's voters do not necessarily expect.

And in the rest of the world, be careful not to idealize the election of a man, an election that certainly remains a positive step forward but that cannot hide the fact that Lula will be confronted with realities of which he will not be able to   free itself in  particular in social matters and which will have consequences for its environmental policy.

But perhaps the new the Brazilian president already has in mind Tocqueville's reflection, namely that the foreign policy of states is often conditioned by domestic policy.


Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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