In light of the recent corruption scandals involving Brazil’s Senate leader Renan Calheiros and Energy Minister Silas Rondeau, one might wonder if President Lula should be crowned the king of optimism after appraising the collapse of his advising corps in his ruling PT. While the Boston Globe contends that the accusations “threaten to foil the government’s reform agenda,” (“Brazil Senate Leader Denies Taking Kickbacks,” May 28), the very future and authenticity of Brazil’s democracy and the viability of its economy are stalled. Though the scandals began in 2005, whether it was for lack of a competent challenger or for the public’s notorious disinterest in such matters, Lula was elected for another term, giving him ample opportunity to develop into a world-class apologizer.
Lula’s situation appears to mirror Collor de Mello’s presidency from 1989 until his impeachment on corruption charges in 1992. Currently, Lula’s presidential path resembles Collor’s in his loss in popularity among the public and his legislative allies due to his affable tolerance of one wave of scandals after another. Perhaps Lula’s agenda will suffer, but more importantly, so will Brazil’s stability, causing foreign investors to rethink their relations with a country so consummately enveloped by dishonesty and fraud.