Last Monday,at the magnificent house of the Brazilian ambassador in Dakar, Maria Eliza Teófilo de Luna, I attended a conference held in by ministers Gilberto Carvalho (Dilma’s minister and former Lula’s chief of staff), Luiza Helena de Barros (minister politics of promotion of racial equality), and Maria do Rosario (minister of human rights) One of the main topics was the celebration of recent Brazilian racial policies; for instance, the promotion of the racial quotas implemented by the Itamaraty for the new generations of diplomats.
According to the ambassador, the marks of slavery are still present in the Brazilian society, there were 80 thousand Brazilian people who”stopped being slaves” in the last eight years in Brazil. She did not give further details about this modern slavery data. The speeches were full of words like “camarada” (comrade in English) that reminds us of the origins of PT and the ideology of a not so small part of the current most powerful Brazilian party. Naturally, we have to take in consideration the context, the WSF is a gathering of the world left, an answer to Davos.
The selected audience (around 50 people) was almost exclusively composed by international press members and Brazilians participating in the World Social Forum, mainly professors members of the CUT(Brazilian strongest labor union representing over 7 million people,specially public workers). Marcos Palmeira, a famous Brazilian actor, was also present. For people who are not from the left wing, taking a picture with him was the highlight of the night.