Now that Lula da Silva has won the presidential elections in Brazil, it is time to reconcile a politically divided nation.
While it is true that the Brazilian economy is growing, this growth is not producing significant improvements in the standard of living of the majority of the population. Moreover, Brazil’s public finances continue to deteriorate. The country has been running a structural deficit for more than a decade thanks to Bolsonaro and it will take years for its public finances to be restored to health.
With great power comes great responsibility and Lula da Silva faces a major challenge in its next presidential term: how to address income inequality, which has been growing in recent years. As incomes at the top of the distribution continue to grow, this gap is likely to widen further in the future. The best way to reduce inequality and foster greater economic opportunity is to increase access to education and healthcare. Yet these services remain out of reach for many low-income families, meaning that those at the bottom have even fewer economic opportunities. To address this challenge, Lula must strive to lower taxes for middle and low-income families, while investing in education and healthcare to ensure that all Brazilians have a fair chance to succeed.
Now that President-elect Lula da Silva has won the elections, his government will face new challenges with the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon is an important source of drinking water and food for millions of people in Brazil and other countries. It is also home to many unique plants and animals that could be harmed by deforestation.
The Amazon rainforest has become a major ecological disaster under the previous government. But with Bolsonaro, these protections were weakened. This led to an increase in deforestation, which threatens to damage the Amazon ecosystem and harm the people who depend on it for their livelihoods.
Global Exchange and Terra 360 discussed with experts what awaits the Brazilian citizenry now that Lula is about to become president of Latin America’s richest environmental nation, as well as the challenges he will face in uniting a nation clearly separated by the ideology that Bolsonaro took it upon himself to spread.
Watch again the live broadcast held by Global Exchange director Ted Lewis, accompanied by Michael Fox, a freelance journalist who has kept the English-speaking audience up to date from the streets of São Paulo. We were also joined by Americas Program’s Laura Carlsen, who detailed Lula da Silva’s victory speech from the election headquarters. Fernando Cruz, a journalist who has covered Brazil’s electoral phenomenon from the beginning. And Claudia Martinez, from Mexico’s Public Broadcasting System, whose coverage included statements from relevant figures in Brazil’s political scene.
Listen to their opinion on what is coming next for the Brazilian presidency and what expectations Brazilians have for their new president.