By Jorge Capelán / Aydinlik (Turkey).
The Western global media dictatorship and its coverage of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this year convey a tragicomic impression of schizophrenia. On one hand, for weeks and months the country has been portrayed as unable to host the championship because of inefficiency, corruption and sheer imbecility or outright contempt for human life, as in the case with the wild speculations about death squads killing street children in order to clean the cities for the incoming waves of tourists. On the other hand, in country after country, TV-audiences beat records by the day as people all over the globe gather to watch the performances of stars such as Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo, Robben or Klose, and the same media monopolies that between matches do their best to smear the event, photograph, record, describe and comment every tackle, foul, header or corner taking place as if it were the only important thing going on in the world right now.
Allegedly, Brazil is in a state of war because of the ongoing «anti-government» protests but the polls say that if elections were held today, president Dilma Rousseff would get more votes than all of her opponents together (Nobody seriously thinks that Rousseff will fail to get reelected on the elections scheduled later this year). It is not the hundreds of demonstrators around the arenas that have affected the World Cup, but traffic jams. Sure, there are plenty of reasons to be unsatisfied in today’s Brazil, as well as there are plenty of reasons to be «critical» of FIFA’s mafia, but most Brazilians can differentiate between real foes with capital letters such as Capitalism, Imperialism and the Corporate Global Sports Industry and PT’s government, which has created none of the former and instead has attempted to address their consequences.
Brazil inherits many of the structural problems common to other big (and small) third-world countries: Vast inequalities; a political system that prevents democratic reforms and protects the power of corrupted cliques; a poorly integrated economy, depending heavily on the exploitation of natural resources, as well as racism, sexism and other expressions of oppression.
In spite of all that, since 2002, left-wing leaders Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff have managed to start a dramatic process of democratization in the most unequal country in the region and the world: 36 out of 200 million Brazilians have left behind extreme poverty, and a total of 13.8 million households, 50 million people, benefit from social programs that have considerably improved their living conditions. These programs have increased the children’s school attendance by 85% and reduced maternal mortality by 40% during the past decade.
Brazil today is not what it was before Lula and Dilma came to power. It has become the world’s sixth largest economy and, since its membership in the BRICS(+A) group, it has become one of the leading voices in the process of emergence of a multipolar world order. Between 2002 and 2008, its exports have more than tripled to staggering 200 billion dollars a year; the discovery of the Presal findings have made of Brazil an offshore oil superpower and its industry, stimulated by huge orders from the public sector, has been hugely strengthened.
The Western Multinational Corporate Media’s smearing of Brazil’s World Cup today mimics the global smear campaigns being waged against Russia (remember Sochi) and China. It is a part of the Empire’s strategy for the global «contention» of a multipolar World Order. In the Latin American context, this campaign belongs to a strategy directed mainly (although not exclusively) against three South American countries: Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. The first two are regional giants (both members of BRICS) without which no project for regional integration is viable. The third one, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is the bearer of the most articulated anti-capitalist dimension of such a project of integration – a dimension without which the project itself would not be successful. That is why nobody should be surprised to see right now: a vicious campaign of US-sponsored «syrianization» against Venezuela; a Wall Street-backed speculation offensive of «vulture» hedge funds against Argentina and an outright character assassination of Brazil in the global Western media.
Emergent countries such as Brazil are not «cute» anymore. It’s big time now and the hegemony of the tandem Wall Street/London City is at stake. Four years ago, South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup and the treatment of the Western Media, in spite of the terrible social and economic conditions, was nowhere near the negative coverage received by Brazil today. If the World Cup were held today in South Africa, we would witness a similar smear campaign. As we today «learn» that there still exist poor people in Brazil, we would «learn» that white people still have privileges in South Africa.