As the Olympic Games draw near, with Brazil running the show, there is excitement over things to expect: The fan-favorite swimmer, Michael Phelps is returning, strong international competitors abound for practically every field, and above all else this is the first time a country in South America has hosted the Olympics. But beyond the thrills and bated expectation, there is also a sobering reality.
Brazil has had to navigate one “breaking news” story after another as of late, involving politics, the economy, and the environment. Even more shocking is the advice of Brazil’s elite to general outsiders for their protection: Don’t come here.
It is an unexpected announcement, a statement that instills an uncomfortable feeling of insecurity. The level of violence in Brazil seems to be on a constant growing trend, and a crippled political system due to a supposed scandal by President Dilma Rousseff exacerbates the discord between the image Brazil hopes to portray and the alarming reality. Massive amounts of money changed hands, reflecting a deep-seeded historical scar of wealthy elites and the poor beneath them; the haves and have-nots. If this wasn’t enough, the idea of Brazil losing its novelty and gaining notoriety could reach its peak during the Olympics – the very thing in which hopes were placed to boost a damaged economy and bring rejuvenation – as health concerns over the Zika virus and contaminated water run rampant.
All of this comes together to reflect the initial statement: Don’t come here. A plea by its own people to protect others from an ever-worsening situation. Brazil was a strong country, leading globally in exports for necessities such as sugar, coffee, and beef and had declared that it would reach first-world status in the near future. But the recent downturn in the relationship with China, a necessity for practically any country globally in this decade, is a downward spiral.
So, what do you think of the many situations happening in Brazil? Is the advice of Brazil’s stars to not travel there well founded? What can be done to remedy this and provide a lasting solution?