“It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again” How My Brazilian Expat Experience Is Shadowing My American Living Experience


“Politics is politics” and all the fun little quotes you can find on the internet about the maleficent art. There are very few politicians or governments that aren’t embroiled in some scandal or backdoor deal. But then there are certain corrupt political acts which are so outrageously shameful that they lift themselves above the rest and become national embarrassments.

This is what happened in America during the George W. Bush and Dick Cheney administration in regards to the Iraq War, a conflict which was started based largely on confabulations and personal interest. And this is what is happening now in Brazil, for much the same motives, as President Dilma Rousseff appoints former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as Cabinet Chief, giving him legal immunity precisely at the time when investigations on major corruption scandals had begun targeting him.

Just as I was embarrassed for America at the point in history, I am now embarrassed for Brazil. And just as many foreign countries rightfully showed their disdain for America at the time, many in the world again join in its admonishment of Dilma’s blatantly disgraceful actions.

However, what strikes me most about these parallels is how I have been stuck living through both of them. The resemblances are revolting:

  • America was mostly divided at the start of the Bush administration (with an approval spike following his swift actions after 9/11) and then mostly against him. In Brazil, the country’s support for Dilma (mostly due to her riding off of the Lula administration) became an even split before turning very much against her.



  • Bush and Cheney used their political clout to boldly lie to the American people on national television about their reasoning for starting the Iraq war. Dilma and Lula have used their political clout to boldly lie to the Brazilian people on national television about why Lula is receiving a lofty government position.


  • Former president, Bush was just the mouthpiece while Cheney pulled his strings. President Dilma is just the mouthpiece while former president Lula pulls her strings.


Needless to say, the déjà vu feeling is not a good one.

The dynamic duos have proven to be the same. They are less concerned about the citizens and the country as they are in keeping their control of power and executing their personal agendas.

When President Dilma gave her speech today, officially announcing Lula’s cabinet post, it was slap in the face of the Brazilians who had come out in the millions to protest against her government on March 15th, and the many millions more who were not in the streets but stand firmly against the current government and general corruption in the country.

Her speech was angry and indignant, and she sounded stronger, firmer and more cogent than in her usual ramblings. She described the actions of those probing her administration and former president Lula’s actions as a coup. She also made it clear that she was not willing to stand down in light of all these accusations, and those present applauded her.

In the midst of this puffed up talk, President Dilma made it clear that she was still very optimistic about Brazil’s capacity to escape the current economic crisis and its corruption scandals. It was all big drama, which I am sure her followers will eat up, and not much different from General Colin Powell’s speech to the UN, trying to make a case for going to war in Iraq, nor the many later speeches given by former president Bush and his administration in defense of the failed war and the weapons of mass destruction that never materialized quite as they should have.

It was, in short, a sad day for Brazil – a day that may change a lot of things in this country. It is really up in the air if it will be for the better or worse. If we go by the result of the Iraq fiasco, I am not as optimistic as Dilma claims to be. Even if her government does fall, what will be left in its wake is not the most pleasant of scenarios. But more importantly, on a personal note, I just won’t be able to get rid of that old déjà vu feeling all over again!!!

P. Ray

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7 Responses to “It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again” How My Brazilian Expat Experience Is Shadowing My American Living Experience

  1. CraigStephen cudworth says:

    More amazing writing Ray I take my cap off! It is also spooky because I was thinking and comparing things with Berlusconi’s government and Blair’s and how I’d sadly lived through both these dramas.
    Even if you are the biggest PT supporter in the world you cannot deny that the last week has been a move to hold onto unlimited power and ridicule the justice administration and protesters here. These moves will not dispell or crush the movement here against the incompetence of Dilma and in fact we are seeing that the people’s determination to bring the government down is getting stronger.

    • p. ray says:

      Thanks for your kind words Craig. It is truly frustrating to get away from something terrible only to then land in the same shit, isn’t it? LOL
      In the end, the best we can do is raise our voices in protest, and hold on the love and support of our friends and family while the
      ones in power play their little chess games without regard for the people they have been sworn to serve. Beer helps too. 🙂

  2. babblingbrazilnut says:

    Great post. It is just outstandingly bizarre what is going on here at the moment even by South American standards. Who needs novellas!

    • p. ray says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      I have been enjoying all the House of Cards comparisons. The writers of that show must be scratching their heads!! If they had written anything close to this, critics would complain that it was no believable.

  3. Pingback: Why Is PT Such a Hated Political Party? The answers may not be as obivous as the newspaper headlines will have you believe. | Brazusa's Blog

  4. Pingback: “It´s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again” … All Over Again – Brazil´s 2018 Elections shadow America´s 2016 Elections. | Brazusa's Blog

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