Exactly one year ago, Brazil was having a historical moment. The entire month of June was filled with protests involving millions of Brazilians, many of which left the comfort of their homes to join the voice of the people for the first time in their lives. A voice that didn’t always scream for the same ideals, that didn’t always agree with the one right by its side…

Many were the reasons these Brazilians had to yell at the top of their lungs, but one of them, a BIG one, was the millions and millions from public coffers, spent in the construction of stadiums in a standard not common to public facilities like hospitals, schools, public transportation, among many others, all of which are decaying in quality.

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The World Cup is here and the last few days preceding it were overwhelmed with speculation and divided opinions all over the social networks and the Internet. It feels like a passion has been yanked out of my chest. Brazilians feel coerced to be ashamed to root for their country, we are afraid of judgment for being “pro-world-cup” or against it. Meanwhile, with only a few days to go, stadiums and airports were still unfinished, which only increased the people’s state of indignation.

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…very clear message from the people at the street. One of their many subjets that impulsionated protests in Brazil

 

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Patriotism and anger – at one of many protests in Sao Paulo last year

Politicians assured people there will be no demonstrations during the World Cup and affirm they will use military power if necessary to contain the people. Meanwhile, those apposed to our current government, fear Brazil winning the series could strengthen the chances of president Dilma’s re- election. Celebrities go to the media in support of police brutality against manifestations during the event, and declare themselves ashamed of how the World Cup has become an excuse to revolt against the government, reason for protests and violence, and how it all reverts into bad publicity for our country. That’s the real shame!

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Meanwhile in the fashion world, our soccer super star Neymar, poses with Gisele for the cover of Vogue Brasil magazine.

Pessimists, contaminated by indignation, want everything to fail during the cup believing that international disgrace would serve as a lesson to our politicians and “kick-off” a possible intervention from other nations to help our country change; but it goes unnoticed that this self-destructive attitude brings no benefit to the people. False-optimists, on the other hand, have a lot to gain and take advantage of the low moral to spread effect phrases compelling us to react with courtesy and receptivity. One said, “what (there) was to be spent, stolen, is gone”, insinuating we should move on, but I don’t believe anything should be stolen! Texts stimulating our patriotism and at the same time showing how degrading our situation is, are spread and shared all over social media by people that no longer know what to do think or do.

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National passion: brasilians can’t hide their love for the sport that gathers diferent ages and races from all over the country

 

Until a few weeks ago, it had not rained in São Paulo in over 30 days, which brought the levels in our reservoirs to an ultimate low — fines were given to those unable to reduce their use of water during rationing. Last month São Paulo reached record traffic: 344 km (214 miles) throughout the capital, but expected when bus and metro strikes still frighten workers and all of those who depend of public transportation in the capital. Still today, many of the metro lines – that already don’t service the entire city for lack of structure – are not operating and their employees stopped.

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The image shows how the traffic stroke Sao Paulo in that day…

Despite all of it and with the growing expectations that precede the beginning of the games, we watch our streets fill with “gringos” and I’m reminded that soccer is an internacional passion and our national pride above it all. Some may still claim our government uses “bread and circuses” to seek public approval, but I truly believe these are times of patriotism, passion and emotion, after all soccer is a sport that brings masses together and creates opportunities to all social classes of our country.

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What’s most important to me in this moment is to create awareness of what we are going through as a country and that we may use our conscience at the elections to fight for our rights and ideals to build a brighter future for Brazil, rich in all of its beauty. May we be proud of our country, value and speak highly of it to those who wish to visit and live it. Ultimately let us help create a better BRASIL, never forgetting that every day we are presented with small opportunities of change for the greater good!

And let the games begin!

Love, Carol