A World Cup for whom?

Posted: June 27, 2014 in countries
Tags: , , ,

world-cupChildren watch the World Cup opening match between Brazil and Croatia in an alley at the Mangueira slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 12 2014.

A World Cup for whom?

For the poor of the slums that will continue to be exploited and humiliated even after all the promises of politicians and rulers that their lives will improve after the World Cup?
For the black and the poor who have no money to buy expensive tickets to be able to cheer for their national team in stadiums built with money earned from the taxes he pays to the government on a abusive daily basis?
For the poor who were expelled from their homes and driven to distant places of the urban areas where foreign delegations will be headquartered?
For these same poor who were expelled from where they lived and received a derisory compensation and after the World Cup will see the places where they lived being given to the property speculation that will make millions?
For the seller of popsicles that will get some lucrative weeks before returning to the misery that ever lived?
Or for the politicians that profited from fraudulent bids and overpriced works, and pocketed much of the values ​​of these works by diverting funds without a modicum of control and inspection by government agencies?
Or for contractors and economic groups who carried out construction and reforms of stadiums and facilities with resources financed by the government and then will administer all this heritage for decades?
Or for the Brazilian media (I say Globo) that will monopolize the information about the World Cup and increase its audience during broadcasts of games and profit with sponsors?

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Note the below photo of Brazilian fans during the opening match of the World Cup between Brazil and Croatia. Do you see any black in the stands? World Cup, the FIFA big circus for the joy of the white hegemony.

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A World Cup for whom?

Text by Erik Vasconcelos from Jamaica Observer.

According to Leonardo Dupin on journalist Juca Kfouri’s blog, the Minas Arena consortium will have the right to operate the Minerao soccer stadium in Belo horizonte for 25 years after their investment of about $300 million, $180 million of which was kindly lent by Brazil’s state development bank, BNDES. The agreement guarantees that the Government of the state of Minas Gerais will cover any losses in their business up to $1.7 million. In 2013, the consortium had losses every month of the year and the State footed the bill, giving them over $20 million to secure corporate profits.

The Government is generally not as straightforward in trying to protect corporations from losses. It seems that this time, the State didn’t try to be very roundabout and just funnelled money directly from the pockets of the tax-paying poor.

The consortiums that control other World Cup stadiums have similar sweetheart deals, with “investment” money generously coming from BNDES, the largest tool of upward wealth transfer in Brazil. President Dilma Rousseff appears frequently on TV to assure us that the total spent on stadiums was “only” $4 billion, whereas total overall is around $11.5 billion, most of which should actually be “recouped” by the public, because they were “loans”.

Rouseff forgot to account for subsidies and concession contracts. She also forgot to account for evictions and urban make-up projects intended to hide our poor from fearful tourists. Not to mention the cost of the police state that has wreaked havoc since the World Cup and the Olympics were announced to be held in Brazil.

Protests and criticisms have abounded, however, culminating on May 15 in the International Day of World Cup Resistance (15M). People took to the streets in many Brazilian capitals, accompanied by teachers, public transportation workers and, in Pernambuco, police strikes. Also worthy of note was the manifestation of the Homeless Workers Movement, comprised of people who have the biggest reasons to complain: The World Cup caps off a model of urban development that evicts the poor from the city centres and pushes the value of their labour even lower.

The Government, as always, tries to paint the Worker’s Party (PT) administration as the halcyon days of never-ending development, but the honeymoon is over. No matter who conquers the World Cup, the real winner is corporate capitalism.

Nothing illustrates this better than the gentrification of Maracana stadium, once a hub for the people, but now a place attended exclusively by the elite, where fans are supposed to watch the game sitting down, taking off your jersey is forbidden, fireworks are “unsafe”, and the flags you take are strictly regulated according to FIFA’s rulebook. If not even soccer is like we used to do it, we can only ask the biggest question from 15M: World Cup for whom?

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Recommended reading: http://www.marxist.com/fifa-brazil-wave-of-protest-and-strikes.htm.

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