Things That Matter

This Is What Brazilians Think Of President Bolsonaro One Year Into His Presidency

When Jair Bolsonaro was elected as Brazil’s new president people around the world scratched their head in disbelief. He was hailed as “the Brazilian Trump” and newspaper headlines highlighted the return of the far-right in South American politics. Let us remember that previous to the Bolsonaro era Brazil had been governed by the progressive governments of Lula Da Silva and Dilma Roussef, who later were accused and indicted for corruption, accusations that up to this date their fiercest followers deny. So in a climate of political unrest and deep divisions within Brazilian society Jair Bolsonaro was elected. 

Just to give you an idea of what Bolsonaro’s politics are, this is a fast and furious summary.

Credit: Isac Nobrera / Brazilian National Archive

He is: pro-gun, anti-indigenous, misogynist, homophobic, far-right, allied to the most conservative religious groups, anti-press, anti-arts. If you have an ounce of humanity and lead a compassionate life, Bolsonaro is everything that you are not. 

So what do people think of him? Tom Phillips, Dom Phillips and Jonathan Watts over at The Guardian interviewed six prominent Brazilians to gather their views on what life is like in the country under the Bolsonaro administration. 

Djamila Ribeiro, feminist philosopher, publisher and activist says: “We feel really afraid of the intensifying repression of the black population and the increasing militarisation of the favelas.”

It is no secret that Brazil has very complex racial politics, particularly when it comes to its Black population. Bolsonaro has perpetuated cruel stereotypes about Black Brazilians and racists feel validated (sounds familiar?). Ribeiro is at least a bit positive, though, as she says: “If there’s a positive side to this government, it’s that issues of race and gender have never been talked about so much”. 

Patrícia Campos Mello, award-winning journalist, says: “There hadn’t been any kind of censorship since the end of the military dictatorship [in 1985] – and now we’ve started to see a gradual erosion of freedom of expression.”

As has happened in the United States and other Western democracies that have seen the rise of populist politics, the press has been the de facto enemy. Journalists in Brazil feel threatened. To add insult to injury, fake news is now a common denominator in the Brazilian political landscape. 

Celso Amorim, former foreign minister, says about Brazilian diplomacy under Bolsonaro: “It’s not very different from the US state department under Trump – only more exaggerated, more ridiculous.”

This veteran diplomat has some very harsh words for the Bolsonaro presidency, and even says he feels ashamed. He adds: “Now it has embarked upon an all-out ideological war against everything that is not western or Christian – according to their conception”. So yes, Bolsonaro’s war escapes the confines of Brazil and determines the country’s relationship to the world. Nice. 

Gustavo Bebianno, former Bolsonaro ally, says: “You can agree with him about 99 things. But if you disagree on one and argue or try to offer another point of view, you are seen as a traitor.”

It is often the case that allies and collaborators of politicians who situate themselves in one of the extremes of the political spectrum become disenchanted once the politician is in power. Such is the case of Bebianno, who claims that Bolsonaro is surrounded by radicals and that the administration has become a sort of sect where anything can be judged as treason. 

Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, indigenous intellectual, shaman and author, says: “Bolsonaro is a garimpeiro [illegal miner]. He wants more land and fewer Indians.”

Perhaps the population that has suffered the most under Bolsonaro are indigenous Brazilians. Bolsonaro has shown zero respect for their way of life and their relationship with the environment. His timid response to the Amazon fires revealed a pro-industry and neo-colonial perspective in which anything goes in the name of business.

As Davi Kopenawa Yanomami expands: ““In our culture, we don’t damage the river and trees. We care for the forest. But the miners just bring destruction. Who is getting rich from this? It’s not regular Brazilians in the cities. It’s politicians who are selling the wealth of Brazil to foreigners.”

Karine Teles, actor, says: “For Brazilian cinema, 2019 represented a gigantic pause. Nothing advanced. Everything was suspended.”

Regimes that risk becoming totalitarian usually start cutting funding for the arts. Brazilian cinema has been healthy for a few years now, both in terms of revenue and in artistic innovation. However, the Bolsonaro government is attempting to restrict the type of content that is produced with public money, which is a form of censorship.

Teles expands: “I think it’s an attempt to restrict the content of films. But our country is still a democracy where things work in a certain way. No leader – a mayor, a governor, or president – has the right to impose their personal tastes on the entire population.”

Brazilian Newborn Goes Viral For Stankface After Being Born Via C-Section

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Brazilian Newborn Goes Viral For Stankface After Being Born Via C-Section

Rodrigo Kunstmann Fotógrafo Profissional

In an age where everyone is likely bound to experience their 15 minutes of fame thanks to TikTok, Isabela Pereira de Jesus has earned hers sooner than most. Born in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 13 of this year, the newborn quickly went viral on social media after a picture of her birth was shared online.

According to Insider, the newborn’s birth was captured by professional photographer Rodrigo Kunstmann.

In a post to Facebook, Kunstmann shared the image of her birth on Facebook writing “Today is my birth and I don’t even have clothes for this event.” Pereira de Jesus can be seen being delivered by cesarean section by doctors in the snapshot which features her mean pout.

The image quickly went viral on social media with over 1K comments and 3.5K reactions on Facebook as of Wednesday.

Users on Facebook were quick to laugh at the post calling out how adorable it is.

“Put. Me. Back,” one user joked of the image.

“You guys woke me up? For what? ❤️😜❤️,” another commented.

Another user joked that the image was, “A forewarning of her teen years.”

In an interview with Today Parents, Kunstmann said the little girl’s parents found the image hilarious.

“They were like, ‘This could be an internet meme!’ Everybody thought it was funny.” According to Kuntsman, despite the picture, Isabella is a sweet little baby.

“She’s very sweet,” he told Today. “The picture was just a moment.”

First Case Of Coronavirus In Latin America Confirmed In Brazil

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First Case Of Coronavirus In Latin America Confirmed In Brazil

Agustín Diaz / Unsplash

The world has been fixated on the coronavirus as it has spread from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China to every continent, except Antarctica. More than 2,700 people have died of the disease that has infected more than 81,000 people across six continents. So far, more than 30,000 have recovered from the illness. Now, the disease is in Brazil ahead of the nation’s highly anticipated Carnival festivals.

The first case of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has been reported in Brazil.

Credit: @yehudafruchter / Twitter

The first case in Latin America was confirmed in Brazil. The patient, a 61-year-old man who was in northern Italy for business, tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to São Paulo. The man checked himself into a hospital when he began to show signs of a fever, sore throat, and a cough.

Brazil’s Carnival celebrations have begun and the possibility of an outbreak is weighing heavily on some Brazilians.

Credit: @Richierlich / Twitter

According to The New York Times, Brazil Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta is optimistic that they will be able to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, former Health Minister José Gomes Temporão notes that the Brazilian government has been hit with spending cuts in recent years.

“We are cutting resources to public health, and we will need additional resources now,” Temporão told The New York Times.

Brazil has reportedly been working in preparing for the coronavirus for weeks leading up to Carnival.

Credit: @BombergerDanny / Twitter

Despite the work, many fear that Brazil’s under budget and overstressed public health system might not be able to handle an outbreak. However, health officials told The New York Times that it appears that the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo acted quickly using best practices to admit and quarantine the sick man.

The coronavirus has shown up in 38 countries on six continents around the world, including the U.S.

Credit: @Farenthold / Twitter

There are currently more than 50 cases of the coronavirus that have been reported in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans of the possibility of a more aggressive plan to limit the spread of the virus. The virus is spreading quickly across the world since it was first detected and reported in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019.

President Donald Trump has come under fire from health officials for not understanding the true magnitude of the virus.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

The CDC issued a troubling warning of the virus the same day President Trump claimed that the coronavirus won’t have a large impact on the U.S. population. According to the CDC, they expect the virus to spread widely enough in the U.S. to cause a “disruption to everyday life.”

In a statement on the website, the CDC calls COVID-19 “a serious public health risk.” While it is not currently recognized as spreading in the U.S., the CDC does have a plan ready in case the virus begins to spread in U.S. communities.

“Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces),” reads the CDC website. “These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities. However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available. These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities.”

An earlier video from the CDC claims the risk of infection is low but for people to use tactics used to prevent the spread of the flu.

The CDC warns that people need to be vigilant about staying home from work, school, social gatherings, and other social activities if they are sick. The coronavirus symptoms are similar to the flu with a fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. The CDC is asking for people to remain vigilant as we are in the time of year where other illnesses with similar symptoms, like the flu and common cold, are spreading in the U.S.

If you would like to learn more about COVID-19 and what to do if you think you have contracted the virus, click here and read what the CDC recommends.

READ: Four Year Old Left Blind After She Caught A Severe Case Of The Flu—Her Parents Have A Message: Get Your Child Vaccinated