A Greek man who lives and works in Belo Horizonte in Brazil–the host country of the upcoming World Cup–wrote a letter about the real life of the country that has nothing to do with what the majority of people have in mind. His letter was published in hellasbrazil.blogspot.gr, an online portal for the Greeks who live in Latin America.
“Dear friends, I’m talking to you, who when thinking of Brazil, imagine beaches, football and endless parties. I’m sorry to ruin your dream, but the party is over. In Brazil, we export but don’t drink coffee. We don’t dance samba outside Rio de Janeiro, in fact we don’t dance much. We even export football players.
We have run out of stereotypes and patience. Last week, protestations started due to a 7 cent increase in transportation tickets. But the main problem is our basic rights. The military police, a remnant of dictatorship, is doling rubber bullets and tear gas generously. People has finally woken up, and demand a better living. Not only the poor but also the rich.
A rich man pays about 1,500 euros for rent, private health insurance and expensive private schools for his children, as the public sector doesn’t function properly. He pays double the price for anything that comes from abroad, because the import tax is 60%. He pays in fear because he can’t escape the “castle” with the electric fence, or go for a walk whenever and wherever he likes.
Almost no one is having a good time here. The base salary is 234 euros, and a bus ticket costs 1 euro. Yes, we have beaches and sun but illiteracy reaches 10% and 13 million people are starving. Corruption and criminality rates are high while indicators for education and public health are low.
Unfortunately, Olympic Games and World Cup, won’t change anything, despite the government’s promises. World Cup has cost more than 27 billion dollars. However most Brazilians can’t afford to buy a ticket.
Right now 200,000 Brazilians are protesting on the streets. They don’t care about the World Cup, they don’t drink coffee and they don’t dance samba.”