Big Heart has been given a lot of space in the news here in Brazil last week. His heart, for natural reasons, did not realize this. He died 188 years ago.
Pedro I, better known as Dom Pedro, was the first Emperor of Brazil and the man who separated the country from the colonial power Portugal.
This happened in 1822 – that is, 200 years ago.
When Dom Pedro died 12 years later, his heart was placed in a vat of formalin and preserved in a church in Porto, Portugal.
Dom Pedro was very fond of the city and wrote in his will that he wanted his heart to always be there.
And on September 7th, Brazil’s National Day, monuments will be given center stage when the country celebrates its great holiday.
Pedro was only 10 years old when the Portuguese royal family had to flee to Brazil. Portugal was invaded by Napoleon’s forces, and the royal house made a dramatic choice: To rule his empire from the Brazilian capital at the time, Rio de Janeiro.
Thus the young prince became half-Brazilian, and when the king and the rest of the family finally returned to their homeland, he remained regent.
This was a time of increased desire for freedom among Brazilians, and Don Pedro stood at the forefront of the struggle for liberation. In the fall of 1822 he went to São Paulo, where he gathered his comrades on the Ipiranga River, and declared Brazil an independent state.
According to tradition, the prince must have shouted “independence or death”. This is the famous “Scream in Ipiranga”, which all Brazilian children learn about in school.
Perfect for Bolsonaro
Thus, there is a lot of patriotic sentiment to play when the President of Brazil leads the 200-year anniversary celebration on National Day on September 7. It was hard to be a better fit for him.
Just over three weeks later, there is an election here in Brazil, and Jair Bolsonaro knows the art of playing on the patriotic and patriotic strings.
Many remember with horror last year’s National Day, when the president mobilized his supporters Extremely aggressive demonstrations.
In the capital Brasilia and in Sao Paulo, the country’s largest city, protesters carried banners calling for the closure of the country’s National Assembly and Supreme Court.
One of the demands during the demonstrations was a “dictatorship with Bolsonaro in power”. The boss was present during both signs and said that Only God can remove him from his position.
Does Trump take it?
Thus, he has put his finger on one of the most pressing questions ahead of the fall elections.
Will Jair Bolsonaro resign voluntarily if he loses?
Or can we risk that he loves his great role model Donald Trump after the election defeat in 2020 – rallying his followers to violent actions in hopes of clinging to power?
The question was the first thing that was brought to the table when Brazil’s largest television station, O Globo, gave an interview to the president last Monday.
And the answer was: “Yes, I will accept the result if the elections go well.” This is not very reassuring.
As for Bolsonaro, of course he reserves the right to assess himself whether the election result is valid and fair. As did Trump in the United States.
What will happen on September 7th?
According to opinion polls, it does not appear that the current president will be re-elected. His archenemy Lula da Silva of the PT has led the opinion polls of all major institutions in recent months.
And although the distance has narrowed somewhat in the past two weeks, progress is still evident.
Now the bicentennial on September 7th provides a golden opportunity for Jair Bolsonaro to win new voters.
Many Brazilians fear the worst. Will he once again attack the country’s most important democratic institutions?
But this time we heard little about the threats that came before last year’s National Day. Instead, the president says that he does not want to provoke, but will hold a giant demonstration that will show his great support among the population.
Thus, one of the features of the celebration is to show the heart of the first emperor of the country – an idea that was met with Mixed reactions.
Some people think it is Unethical to spend a lot of money On the transfer of wealth to Brazil, while 30 percent of the country’s population lives on the brink of starvation after the pandemic.
Others think the project is a cheap way to get attention before the elections. Among the latter is Isabel Lustosa, who wrote a biography of the first emperor of Brazil.
“This is an artificial patriotism that aims to achieve political gains in the October 2 elections,” she told Deutsche Welle.
“Showing the heart of a former emperor is almost perverted. It has absolutely no meaning and no purpose.”
And indeed on the day after the 200th anniversary, the much-discussed treasure is on its way to Portugal by plane – to rest devotees where it belongs, no doubt also to many Brazilians.
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