Can you believe it? That Argentineans, intellectualssimple people, admire Brazil and see us as an example in Latin America? That Chileans characterize us as being the China of South America and dont understand why we dont assume the leadership that is requested from us?
If this is happening with people that normally look at us with certain historic and competitive mistrust, it is no surprise that Swedes, Germans, Spanish and others already see us as the successful BRIC country in this post-crisis period.
President Lula has demonstrated his great convincing capacity in meetings with international investors. And he has improved his dialogue, from opportunity to opportunity. At the Brazil-Germany Economic Meeting, in Vitória, in front of more than 1000 people, the statesman externalized his great concern regarding the future use of our natural oil reserves and wants to leave behind a sustainable legacy, so that this patrimony can be used to invest, while we have this advantage, in education, innovation and health for Brazilians. This is music to the ears of investors!
In Sweden, after the joy of having won the 2016 Olympics for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, Lula put his official speech aside and spoke to European Union representatives and Brazilians, affirming, with deep emotion, that choosing Brazil first and foremost recovers the self-esteem of the Brazilian population regarding their country - in the broadest Obama – Yes we can! sense.
The Presidents conviction is that Brazilians dont believe in the country enough to imagine we could promote large events, and the fact of hosting global mega events will place us in the center of international attention and, then, we will be able to demonstrate our true potential. The president, who, like few leaders, has a political perception for opportunities, is right when one observes the huge skepticism contained in the opinion of so many Brazilians, due to the recent occurrences in Rio, and we doubt our ability to take on these challenges.
It is interesting that the mayor of London was precisely the one to divide us, reminding us that when it was a target for terrorist attacks years ago the current opinion was that London was not prepared to host large events.
Brazil is the hotspot. Whether we like itnot, we are currently viewed this way abroad. And we have to mentally prepare ourselves to take on the role that in fact we always desired, but our mental reservations lead us into sickly skepticism. It is hard to explain that this attained leadership needs to be conducted with extreme purity, especially regarding all our neighbors, who fear we will become the future dominator of this region.
There is no similar case in the world where a continent has a neighbor with Brazils dimensions without there being a balance from another potential economy. Not even Russia, with its dimension and neighbor to China, has this characteristic. But this doesnt mean we should abdicate from thinking about exercising a leadership, as long as it is participative, democratic and shared.
The conception of this participation, with its specific weight, requires a shared vision of different leaderships from our continent, towards what we could call an integrated South America. There are many examples on how to carry out the formulation of these visions, which always encompass the development of ideas and institutions to provide continuity to this commitment. In order to do so, we Brazilians have to begin our journey in our own house. Our political institutions need a reform according to the countrys requirements. Democratic improvement encompassed a political reform of the Congress and Parties, without which we will always have great difficulty in formulating and exercising long-term policies and will remain with the immediate vision for the next elections.
Although it would be highly desirable for the President, with his high popularity, to play this last card, it is not probable he will do so during his last year. Maybe next term, but what are the odds?
We have to move forward in this sense, because we have to believe... Yes, we can do it better... after all, if even our hermanos believe so!